What do media companies need to consider during a digital transformation? This is a topic that author Lucy Kung delves into in “Going Digital: A Roadmap for Organisational Transformation,” which Kung discussed at the INMA World Congress of News Media in May.

As a Digital News Project by the University of Oxford Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, research for the report involved Kung investigating best practices for digital transformation. 

“I really tried to put together a road map for what organisations need to be thinking about in terms of transforming themselves as organisations,” Kung said. “Assuming they’re going to be transforming their content, what do they need to be doing inside the organisation?”

The main point a company needs to keep in mind is that this digital transformation game is huge, it’s very difficult, and it’s more or less permanent, she said: “Get more intentional, more strategic, and look at all the various working parts that need to come together.”

The biggest challenge during this transformation is the revenue business model, according to Kung. The relevance of media organisations is still there, but extracting value from the market for that is difficult.

“I think it’s easy to get seduced by all these new things coming down the pike and deflecting attention from this really existential issue: How are we going to finance our journalism?”

Kung’s biggest piece of advice for media companies is to think hard about where they want to be in seven years and what they need to put in place to get there. “The other thing I would do is simplify your organisations,” Kung added. “Don’t be scared about cutting down, cutting out, cutting back on areas that aren’t working — so you can push your resources in a really disciplined way toward the future.”