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Three Tech Day Takeaways

April 6, 2015 | By DCN

At our Digital Content Next members-only Tech Day, held April 2 at the Time and Life building in NYC, topics included dealing with cyber security threats, how to make decisions about moving into the Hybrid Cloud and how to respond to the challenges brought on by viewability and ad blocking.

This event brought together senior-level technology executives from our member companies to learn, network and share common experiences from their respective – and sometimes very different – businesses among them Slate, CBS Interactive, AP, Forbes, About.com, Everyday Health, and Hearst. We also hosted a special interview with Co-founder and President of Power to Fly Katharine Zaleski. Three takeaways from the event:

Flexibility is key

“Different groups needed to interact with content in very different ways.” By decoupling the schema from its CMS About.com “Created a content schema that could grow and change as business needs do.”

— Nabil Ahmad, CTO, About.com

“Moving to the cloud has allowed us to cut the order processing time but even more importantly, it allows us to move from concept to deployment much more quickly.”

— Lorraine Cichowski, SVP, CIO, Associated Press

“Flexibility is a bad word to a lot of people… but allowing people to work remotely and be focused on outcomes actually allows them to work longer and harder.”

— Katharine Zaleski, Co-Founder & President, Power to Fly

Jefferson Rabb, CTO and Thomas Rhiel, Director of Reader Experience, Atavist
Jefferson Rabb, CTO and Thomas Rhiel, Director of Reader Experience, Atavist

Building its CMS using Google Polymer Web Components allows Atavist’s CMS to quickly and flexibly produce interoperable custom elements. The result “encourages unique and creative stories” that include “easily assembled blocks of images, sound, video and interactive charts.”

— Jefferson Rabb, CTO and
Thomas Rhiel, Director of Reader Experience, Atavist

Integrated Tech Is Integral to the Business

“It is essential to be a technology-enabled company…technology can enable better monetization. You need your tech team to be tied into revenue goals. If they are in the loop, they can make ad delivery better or faster and make you, as a publisher, able to perform better than anybody else.”

— Dan Check, Vice Chairman & VP, Engineering/Product, Slate

David Hahn, CISO, Hearst
David Hahn, CISO, Hearst

“You must have a security strategy from the top down. The reality is that employees are often the weakest link it any company’s security…it is essential to not only inform employees, but also to enable security to be everyone’s business, not just the tech department.

— David Hahn, CISO, Hearst

“Today’s audience wants to easily transition across devices: 40% of users run the same app in multiple devices, many switch between devices to complete a task. We need content and UX to work together to maintain a seamless experience.”

—Deepak Chokkadi, VP, Software Development and
Premal Parikh, CTO, Everyday Health


Invest in Tech Talent

“For me the whole thing is culture. You want people who will fit in and inspire others around them…you can do a lot to train them and get them fully up to speed.

—Nabil Ahmad, CTO, About.com

“The numbers speak for themselves, we don’t have enough people in tech so we can’t afford not to have women in these careers…I think we have to give up this idea of being valued by the amount of time you sit at a desk and evaluate our tech performance based on outcomes.”

—Katharine Zaleski, Co-Founder & President, Power to Fly

Lorraine Cichowski, SVP, CIO, AP
Lorraine Cichowski, SVP, CIO, AP

“As we work on our strategic cloud planning, we find that tech staff needs new skill sets so we are doing cloud training for some of the staff.”

—Lorraine Cichowski, SVP, CIO, AP

Click here to see the full agenda with speakers and sessions.

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