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Significant Skills Shortage as Media Organisations Prepare for IP Transition

14 Feb 2017 by: Fergal Ringrose

The majority of businesses across Europe (64%) and North America (56%) are looking to start IP production projects in the next nine months. However, 71% of European media companies and 65% of North Americans believe they do not have the necessary transition skills in-house.

Snell Advanced Media (SAM) research reveals that edia companies are actively looking to deploy IP across both infrastructure and production workflows in 2017 – and 54% of Europeans and 50% of North Americans will move production workflows to IP within the next two years. This IP migration is being driven by the desire for improved flexibility and reduced cost of infrastructure – with 35% respondents putting these highest in terms of importance. The number one priority of the respondents will be migrating media studios to IP infrastructure (35% of respondents). Just behind this is migration to IP playout, chosen by 32% of respondents.

Adopting open standards is the most important consideration for IP infrastructure (47%) with the goal of achieving more flexibility and reduced costs. The second priority in terms of technology approach is a seamless IP and SDI control system (26%).

81% of respondents will take either a hybrid SDI/IP or pure IP approach to current infrastructure projects. 71% of Europeans compared to 65% of Americans will take a hybrid SDI/IP approach. However, concerns remain – 31% of media companies are most worried about compromising the quality of production, while 27% ranked the cost of the transition as their number one concern.

Skills gap drives the need for training

Despite the best intentions, the study indicates that media organisations currently do not have all the necessary technical skills available in-house to transition smoothly to IP. Just 36% of North American and 28% of European respondents believe they have the skills needed. To resolve this, the majority (69%) plan to bridge the skills gap by training current staff, while only 22% plan to bring in specialist consultants to support the transition to IP.

“The findings from the Global IP Barometer re-enforce what we’ve been hearing from customers and prospects alike who are keen to understand more about IP,” said Said Bacho, SAM Chief Business Development and Marketing Officer. “The industry is undoubtedly moving toward IP, but there remains much uncertainty about the best practice, knowledge and skills needed to get there. 2017 is set to be a big year for IP and the IP Barometer helps us understand how SAM can further support customers by greater investment in both customer and partner training and education.”

Peter White, IABM CEO said: “We welcome SAM’s Global IP Barometer; this report complements our own research findings on the state of IP in broadcast and media technology. The IP interoperability Zone at IBC, sponsored by IABM and AIMS, demonstrated that competing companies can successfully work together to overcome technology issues in the move towards all-IP and hybrid solutions to meet current and forward-looking needs; SAM was of course one of the participants. In the IP Zone at this year’s NAB, we’re taking things a step further - IABM will be running a theatre with a heavy educational slant.”

The Global IP Barometer was conducted in late 2016. The study answers key questions surrounding IP including timeline for the transition, the internal skills gap as well as industry and technology concerns. The research is based on approximately 1000 respondents from media industry professionals, primarily within Europe and North America.

For more information on the SAM Global IP Barometer, please download the media toolkit including infographic here.

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