Technology

Interview with Bruce Levine, Australian Community Media

featured image

Bruce Levine is the dynamic Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Australian Community Media (ACM) – Australia’s largest independent publishing group with more than 100 brands. In this exclusive interview with Matchboard, Bruce reveals strategies to combat the IT skills shortage, and a hot tip for managing large-scale data and digital transformation programs!

What do you perceive as the biggest technology challenges facing media companies today?

There are two broad areas:

  1. Using technology to drive revenue opportunities – in Media that means finding innovative new products or changing up the way we do business to drive value for customers, and
  2. Finding ways to rationalise the legacy technology that many media companies still manage.

What sort of technologies does ACM use to manage customer relationships?

We use a range of products given we have both B2C and B2B customers. We have a custom-built Salesforce CRM system we use for our advertising customers, and for our B2C customers we use a Piano paywall/billing system and Marketing Cloud for customer communications and EDM.

How is ACM leveraging the opportunities presented by AI?

We are still working through the opportunities and risks this presents the business. It is something we will be focusing on in 2024.

As a CTO, how are you overcoming the IT skills shortage in Australia?

We have recently looked at an offshore resourcing model to help fill certain roles within our technology teams.

We are also looking to see what we can do for future IT graduates coming through Unis/colleges. However, you can’t just rely on this. We have also looked to focus on keeping our current teams happy and highly engaged.

Find a trusted outsource partner

What are your top priorities for 2024?

Keeping good talent is number 1! Other important priorities are:

  • Data platforms and monetisation
  • Understanding the impacts of AI, both positive and negative
  • Finding innovative ways of growing digital revenue, mainly within the consumer subscription business.

From your learnings managing large-scale data and digital transformation programs, what tips can you share with our readers?

Spend more time upfront planning. I know this goes against the whole idea of moving fast and being Agile, but there is a time and place for that too. Being really disciplined upfront with what the opportunity actually is, and thinking through the design and structure of the solution, will save you pain down the line.