The companies sponsoring the upcoming DSrupted conference in just four weeks – gulp – have a lot of interest in seeing where digital signage is going, and at least keeping pace with all the shifting tech and what it means.
I’ve asked all the sponsors to give me their point of view. A few weeks ago we got the point of view of Byron Darlison, who runs Rise Vision. Now here’s another longtime digital signage guy, Ian Gadsby, who is the VP Digital Technology at Pattison Onestop.
What do you see as the technology that’s disrupting digital signage?
I think that mobile has been, and continues to be, a disrupting force in Digital Out of Home. It’s a screen that delivers content and information wherever you are, allows for unlimited interaction and provides feedback for measurement. As with any disruptive force, you can view it as competition, or try to harness it as an ally … We are choosing the later.
Some see disruption as problematic. Others see opportunity in it. How does your company see it?
There is always opportunity in a challenge. The difficulty comes not only in harnessing the challenge from a technology standpoint, but then making it productive as a force within the company. Large organizations like ours need innovation that is scalable and beneficial to all parts of a very diverse product offering and country. What may work beautifully in the lab, may break apart when stretched across thousands of faces, dozens of sales groups and many products. So, for us, the tip of the iceberg is the technology challenge disruption offers.
But technology is only 10% of any product, as you well know. The rest is execution.
How is your company applying emerging technologies?
There are two parts of every business – one is yourself, the other is your client. Businesses fail when emerging technology is thrust upon a client that isn’t ready for it. They may not be ready because they have no need, or they may not realize the need they do have. The result is the same: failure. Nothing worse than blowing a great idea by being too fast – reaching a market that doesn’t exist yet.
Being ‘first’ is fun, it makes for more articles and sometimes awards. Onestop strives to be best, even if it takes a little longer than others to reach market. Best is about a business plan that works, about revenue that is real, and about results that mean something. So we don’t kid ourselves, ‘first’ is only a goal when it contributes to the business objectives, and never for vanity’s sake.
What do you hope to learn at DSrupted?
As much as possible. We’re excited about focused discussions with real case studies from experts. We’re looking to learn more than the ‘what’ and get right into the ‘why’ of the disruptive trends. Many shows skip the ‘why’. They are filled with gadgets and products with feature and gizmos. They ask you to buy because it is NEW and BIGGER or FASTER. They don’t spend the time to explore ‘why’ these great innovations matter, how they fit into the world we are all trying to figure out and if they have a future.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.