Written By Sezer Ovunc

Why Securing Valuable Tech Resources is so Important for Media Companies

Why Securing Valuable Tech Resources is so Important for Media Companies

Ovunc, Sezer, CEO, Flatiron Software

One of the most significant challenges media companies struggle with today is getting the best tech talent. Finding good engineers was already difficult, but competing with well-funded startups and big tech companies now makes finding talent much harder.

While many companies go the traditional route of hiring full-time staff, media companies are also working with software consulting firms amid this increasing competition for securing talent. These firms can work as an extension of a company’s team or deliver an end-to-end project, providing successful tech resources to a business. However, working with a software development partner takes some preparation, and the following steps can help media companies create partnerships that work.

Align calendars and working hours for clear remote collaboration

When people think about collaborating with teams to develop software, many imagine that they will work with engineers in a completely different time zone and face all the logistical challenges that come with distance. They expect the entire communication to be over email, and while this might have been the way most companies used software contractors in the past, it is no longer the baseline for many teams.

With the boom of remote working and teleconferencing during the pandemic, software partners can be as easy to collaborate with as full-time employees. This is a possibility and a necessity of the contemporary world.

To achieve this, it is essential to understand what the company’s priorities should be. First, when working with a software company, they need to work during the media company’s hours and time zone. This is crucial for a quick turnaround on requests, diminishing the impact of physical distance as much as possible.

Proactive resource management

In addition to aligning calendars, another critical point is to have robust management from the partner side — the software consultant. They need to be directly involved in the work delivered to the company so that there is a good flow of information between the project and the management side.

Often partners will need to change team members, which is best done before they are even asked to do so by the client. Not every engineer will be an excellent match for every project, and the partner needs to have a good pool of engineers that they can easily replace if there is a mismatch.

To achieve all of this, senior members of the partner team need to be looped in on the project, actively monitoring their team while also keeping tabs on the project’s needs. That way, they can proactively reassign engineers.

Media expertise

Another important note is to find a software consulting company with prior expertise in media. Many companies within the media industry share similarities in how they use software. As a result, software companies who have previously worked with companies in the media ecosystem also end up developing in-house expertise.

Across the media industry, companies usually work with specific sets of third-party software and functionalities that tend to be shared. Software consultants that already understand ad tech also know how to develop high-performance front ends with low page load speeds. They can create a tight integration with online video platforms and video players, grasp inbound and outbound content syndication, identity management and data engineering. Consultants like these benefit media companies with their shared industry knowledge.

Establish solid communication even when working with hybrid teams

Finally, another critical pillar of success is communication between the software consultants and the media company. No matter how good the connection is and how much the software improves, virtual connections are never a complete replacement for in-person interactions.

After facing this issue, some software consulting firms started developing hybrid teams. This setup kept mid-level to junior team members working remotely while the tech lead or a senior team member worked onsite. Hybrid teams make a huge difference when it comes to performance and efficiency.

With this approach, 80% of the team works remotely — translating into cost savings — while 20% of the team, key members interfacing with the stakeholders, are onsite. Onsite leads are responsible for deliverables, managing the team and ensuring smooth communication while remote members can fully focus on what they do best — delivering.

At a time when competition for tech talent is at an all-time high, media companies are making intelligent moves by investing in software consultant partnerships rather than working to hire full-time tech staff. Consultancy resources can provide more benefits than a traditional staff can as well.

Along with software best practices, a flexible attitude and a mindset that puts the client’s needs first, a great software development partner is a source of media expertise, has solid communication and clear collaboration skills, and is proactive in resource management.

This article was originally published in Digiday

Sezer Ovunc