The BBC has announced a strategy to embrace the latest digital technology in a bid to save £90m and become more flexible and efficient.
Matthew Postgate, chief technology officer at BBC Engineering, formerly known as BBC Technology, said in a BBC blog post that the broadcaster needs a more adaptable approach to using technology rather than opting for long-term systems.
"Our foundations need to become more flexible than we've ever needed them to be in the past," he said. "It's no use laying the groundwork for a factory when in three years' time we find we need an apartment block."
A major part of this will be moving away from long-term contracts with a single supplier, to shorter-term contracts with multiple specialist suppliers in a "do more with less" approach to technology use.
This approach appears to fit in with the government's ambitions to move away from lengthy IT contracts.
Postgate claimed that this strategy will save the BBC £90m over the next two years, and a similar amount after the transition is completed.
"We need to be more flexible, get quicker access to new technology as it emerges, and ensure we get the best possible value for licence fee payers," he said.
Postgate explained that the BBC's current model of procuring and deploying technology was fine 10 years ago but is no longer appropriate in a world where the pace of technological change is increasingly rapid.
Postgate cited the BBC's increasing use of the internet to deliver broadcast-quality programmes as an example of new technolgoies that are impacting its work, such as Ultra-HD or virtual reality.
However, Postgate did add a proviso to those ambitions. "I'm not saying these technologies will take off overnight, or that they'll take off at all for that matter, and traditional broadcast technology will continue to be critically important for many years," he said.
Other than hinting at possible technology uses, Postgate did not reveal many other details on how BBC Engineering will pursue this strategy in terms of infrastructure changes or procurement plans.
V3 contacted the BBC for more details, but the organisation said it had no further information to add.
However, a tender posted by the BBC indicates plans to overhaul a significant proportion of connectivity infrastructure through a seven-year, single supplier contract worth up to £230m.
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