Facing the daunting challenge of digital transformation requires a publisher to rely as much on redefining and reimagining the experiences of customers, employees, and other stakeholders as on the underlying solution.
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“We have very different levels of engagement and different types of end users,” notes Kiren Shoman, editorial director at SAGE Publishing, a leading independent, academic and professional publisher. “You see that a lot in the tech world, don’t you? There are the people who are 100% committed to the most new, most innovative solutions, with all the bells and the whistles, and then you have a lot of the market which is tentative, not necessarily persuaded, and in many, many cases just too busy doing what they’re doing already to be changing a lot of their practices and going down these new routes that digital is offering them.”
At the 2018 London Book Fair, Shoman joined a panel of publishers and technologists to share stories of innovation in publishing marked by changes in workflow and production as well as in markets and customer habits. The other participants were Jonathan Brett-Harris, Managing Director, Ixxus; Kathryn Earle, Managing Director, Digital Resources Division, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.; Dr. Junaid Mubeen, Director of Education at Whizz Education; and John Newton, CTO and Founder, Alfresco.
Facing the daunting challenge of digital transformation requires a publisher to rely as much on redefining and reimagining the experiences of customers, employees, and other stakeholders as on the underlying solution. In a preview of the panel discussion at Olympia Hall, Shoman says that her focus rarely strays from advancing scholarship and research, whatever the business conditions.
“I think one of the opportunities that we have as an academic and as a scholarly publisher, and an independent publisher, is that we can be trying new things, while we also are trying to continue a tradition that recognizes new opportunities and new ways in the disciplines [we cover].
“In social sciences, new subject areas are coming up around computational social science. How do researchers need new tools to engage with big data to do better research and to be able to deliver on their own mission of making new knowledge claims?”
Kiren Shoman is responsible for SAGE London’s textbook and reference program, and is the strategic lead of the recently launched SAGE Video portfolio. At SAGE since 1995, Kiren has played an instrumental role in the development of both traditional and digital platforms for disseminating SAGE’s book and textbook content. Kiren works closely with colleagues across SAGE to further explore new product innovations within print and digital publishing, and content development within emerging digital streams.
Read the transcript here.