2017 is set to be another challenging and rewarding year for IABM itself and our 500 member companies; there will be no let-up in the pace of change — and so the ever-increasing opportunities for those who grasp the nettle.
Like everyone else in the industry, I have been reassured to see an upturn beginning in the business environment; talk has started to turn into action as both suppliers and end-users begin to transform their business models, embrace change and collaborate in achieving real interoperability to deliver new workflows and the opportunities they present.
As smaller companies’ results are published into the New Year, I expect to see a good proportion of them returning to growth and profitability alongside larger companies, many of whom have already reported improving performance over the latter part of 2016.
The early signs are that improvement will continue throughout 2017. Behind the growth will be unlocking of budgets for IP-based infrastructures and multi-platform delivery, with 4K/Ultra HD (UHD) gaining momentum — and so expenditure — too. Of course, we’re not there yet — and probably never will be as the pace of change in our industry continues to rise, and this year, investment will be going into new technologies, architectures and workflows that leverage the cloud and will form a significant thread of the spending tapestry.
This does not mean anyone can afford to sit back on their laurels — there is no destination anymore; as David Ingham, associate partner M&E, IBM, said at the IABM International Business Conference last year: “The industry will never change this slowly again!”
We will need to remain agile, lean and responsive — tuned right in to end-users’ rapidly evolving needs, and ever skeptical about success. As our conference keynote speaker, Rasmus Ankersen, said, complacency will never be an option again; even in paradise, we need to create hunger.
Within IABM, we are dedicated to continuing to develop and build on the range and quality of services and support for members.
Carrying our drive for interoperability forward into 2017, IABM has joined the NAB Interoperability Board alongside AES, AIMS, AMWA, EBU, VSF, SMPTE and MNA and will be working to ensure the success of the new Interoperability Zone at the NAB Show in Las Vegas this April, including a theatre at its heart which will be run by IABM.
This year, we are adding to our extensive market intelligence portfolio the publication of our first end-user index, which will measure and track the performance of our customers over the year and beyond — another valuable resource for members as they evolve their product, sales and marketing strategies to keep up with rapidly changing market requirements.
And of course, there will be another edition of the GMVR in 2017 — even more comprehensive and insightful as we continue to build the number of partners and further broaden its information base.
We will continue to develop relationships with trade shows to deliver better value and more focused propositions for members. As I write this, we have just confirmed a strategic relationship with BVE in London to help the show attract a wider audience and broaden its content base.
Our North America and APAC regional councils have quickly developed into highly effective regional interest operations, as has our newly established MENA office. This year, we will continue to develop real focus and value for members in these regions, with a particular emphasis on China, where there is huge potential for further interaction.
Following the success of the North America and APAC regional councils, we are also planning to set up a Europe Regional Council this year to provide greater representation for, and engagement with, our European members, to better serve their specific regional interests.
The rapidly changing landscape is generating a desperate need for new skills, and recognising this, IABM is broadening its approach on training this year to create a knowledge hub that brings together in one place all IABM’s knowledge resources, and then to build on it for the betterment of the industry. Look out for an announcement on this front early in the new year.
2017 also sees the second edition of the Tom McGann Training Summit, where we will again be working with national and international bodies to promote initiatives to bridge the ongoing skills gap.
And of course, IABM will continue to strive to be a complete resource for its members, and the authoritative voice of the industry around the world. We look forward to working with you in 2017; embrace change with IABM!
Peter White is CEO of IABM.