M+E Connections

HITS Live: How Tech Leaders Shifted Quickly in Response to Pandemic

In early March, Charles Sims, head of technology for the Los Angeles Clippers, said he had been hearing from CIOs and CTOs he knew around L.A. that their companies were starting to plan on a fully work-from-home reality. And the first reaction among many was that while it was a good thing to plan for, it wasn’t something to be worried about in the immediate future.

Then, in a matter of days, it did become reality, for the NBA especially, when the league halted operations the night of Wednesday, March 11.

“It was like a nuclear bomb hit, and we were told we had 24 hours to get everybody ready for work from home,” Sims said, speaking during a May 27 presentation at the Hollywood Innovation and Transformation Summit (HITS) Live event. “On Thursday we were all gathering the troops, letting them know what to do.”

And, like so many other tech arms of major companies, the Clippers office somehow made it work, and on short notice, with behind-the-scenes operations up and running by that Friday, Sims said. “About 90, 95 percent of everyone was ready to go,” he said. “What I learned from that, is when you’re in that moment of crisis, everyone turns into ‘yes’ people. Whatever it takes, we will do it.”

Sims and his fellow panelists during the “Now What? The HITS Community Responds” session offered a glimpse into what happened during the last two months in the ways of adoption and implementation of technologies that quickly became “need to have” instead of “nice to have,” and where the challenges will come from next in the months ahead. This time around, it took teamwork on company-wide scales, innovation and drive to manage the greatest business disruption anyone can remember.

To listen to the presentation, which also featured Christina Aguilera, president of Women in Technology: Hollywood (WiTH), click here.

The May 27 HITS Live event tackled the quickly shifting IT needs of studios, networks and media service providers, along with how M&E vendors are stepping up to meet those needs. The all-live, virtual, global conference allowed for real-time Q&A, one-on-one chats with other attendees, and more.

HITS Live was presented by Microsoft Azure, with sponsorship by RSG Media, Signiant, Tape Ark, Whip Media Group, Zendesk, Eluvio, Sony, Avanade, 5th Kind, Tamr, EIDR and the Trusted Partner Network (TPN). The event is produced by the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA) and the Hollywood IT Society (HITS), in association with the Content Delivery & Security Association (CDSA) and the Smart Content Council.