The broadcast media industry has gone through various transformations from satellite to on-demand to mobile apps, and IT plays a pivotal role in its delivery patterns. Mr. Damian O’Gara, Vice President of IT at OSN talks about his exciting journey in OSN’s digitization.
Digitalization is certainly changing the old way of doing things. It is very interesting how Damian still recalls receiving his first job offer letter through a telegram back in the 1990’s. Today, digitalization is not just about embracing new technologies but changing the culture of the organization. There is a need for the IT leaders to introduce agile ways of working in the organization and also innovate new ideas. “There is no end to our digital transformation. Digital transformation for us means business intelligence. We are investing a lot of money into this intelligence. BI gives us all kinds of insights. From an internal operations view, it allows us to monitor systems availability and see how many subscribers have tuned in. This kind of data allows us to simplify customer experience and develop ways to enhance our services. So, BI provides a lot of information across the business like understanding our customer’s present and predicting their future needs” says Damian.
Providing premium entertainment across the MENA, with over 150 channels, OSN’s strength is led by its long-term partnerships with studio majors including Disney, HBO, NBC Universal, Fox, Paramount, MGM, Sony, DreamWorks to name a few. And now this entertainment network is on a cloud journey. OSN has started to embrace cloud-based services “We have a cloud first policy. We shall be gradually shifting to cloud in the coming months. We are reviewing all our technology stacks and services on a case by case basis.” commented Damian.
The real benefits of broadcasting media moving to cloud is less about cost efficiency and more about speeding up time to market. But as it continues to be dependent on cloud and digital platforms, the need for cyber security is high. Talking about the cyber security Damian says that attacks can be prevented by organizations to a certain extent by protecting themselves with upgraded servers to the latest recommended versions. “The objective of the attacker is to get the confidential data but every organization has to protect themselves with firewalls and antivirus. Protecting customer’s data is very important for us. We have the measures in place to track down pirates immediately. We have a security team and all our employees are trained in the basic cybersecurity techniques. We have our security policies in place and have upgraded all our servers to latest recommended versions from our suppliers” says Damian.
It is always important for a CIO to remain one step ahead of the attacks and the organizations should be best equipped to mitigate the effects of any cyber-attacks. Mr. O’Gara looks at how CIO’s can protect their organization from the attacks and also what the future holds for the CIO and cybersecurity. He believes that a CIO can assist the organization in adapting the changing technology of threat landscape. “I would advise the other CIO’s to keep all their systems on premises updated with latest recommended versions from their suppliers. Also, they have to make sure they have a world class security team and constantly train their employees” says Damian.
However, in the ever-changing world of technology, OSN promises to always deliver the best to its customers. With services like OSN on Demand and OSN Play they offer unparalleled choice, value and convenience to a demanding and tech-savvy audience. “Our customers always come first and we make sure that we meet customer demands and expectations. In fact, we like to over deliver – and we do this through constant innovation and a deep understanding of our customers’ needs and preferences” concludes Mr. O’Gara.