The speed at which the publishing industry is changing is enough to make anyone dizzy. And legacy publishers seem to be the last in line to get on board with change. Too often, they are deer caught in the headlights of this changing industry. If legacy publishers want to keep up with the rapid pace, they’ll need to be stay on top of new technologies and be as innovative as possible.
One way legacy publishers can keep up with the industry is by reducing spending and reallocating funds to appropriate technologies and services. With ebooks quickly becoming the dominant publishing format, things such as printing, warehousing, and shipping and distribution are becoming archaic distractions that bog down any forward-thinking progress for legacy publishers. Implementing new systems under the old publishing model can be costly and time-consuming, especially if legacy publishers attempt to hang onto “dead trees” as salable content to readers.
The fact is, we’re going digital, kids. That much is obvious. And it goes beyond even ebooks. The way businesses themselves function and grow in the future is going to rely heavily on their digital adaption and flexibility. Holding on too tightly to the past can only lead to heartache—and loss of profits. Legacy publishers know this better than anyone.
In a YouTube video introducing the concept of SaaS solutions and cloud services as an alternative publishing model, several leading publishing industry consultants weighed in on the current state of the publishing industry. The video highlights the fact that cloud services promise the latest technologies without a large upfront investment and can help streamline capabilities of legacy publishers.
As Ken Michaels says in the video, legacy systems not being able to structure or share meta data properly, data not maintained efficiently or consistently, industry reporting and rights transparency issues, and education and awareness of new technologies are all issues the industry is wrestling with. This is why cloud-based software such as Pubsoft is such a great alternative for legacy publishers.
For efficiency, Michaels’ says, the virtualization of hardware that the cloud represents brings real bottom line savings, flexibility, scale, and speed all at once.
What hosted services and cloud-based solutions allows is for legacy publishers to focus on the things that are at their core competency while still being innovative and flexible. It also allows more room for legacy publishers to maximize resources and to build more direct relationships through their authors with readers—the current gatekeepers of the publishing industry’s digital future.
As Porter Anderson has said, “publishing is now a data game.” So much of what we do is digital, and the industry requires proficiency and understanding of the various aspects of data—“its challenges and its potentials.” Sebastian Posth, CEO of Berlin-based Publishing Data Networks, agrees that data is a top priority.
“Data analysis is a business requirement and a necessary means to deal with the digital change…Data is not a giveaway or supplement to a business deal,” Posth said, “it is a prerequisite.”
Implementing alternative systems through cloud-based solutions and hosted services can put this data at the fingertips of legacy publishers, so that they can focus on utilizing the information. This will allow legacy publishers to continue to evolve and improve, remaining to parallel to new technologies as they do the same, while cutting the unnecessary costs that keep them tethered to the old world of publishing.
“The world is changing, the publishing business is changing. You need to be flexible, you need to be scalable and you need to be able to properly manage your budgets,” says John Wicker, Publishing Segment Head of TATA Consultancy Services.