Television Remote - Image by iqbal nuril anwar from Pixabay ITV has been quietly increasing its usage recently of Zoho Creator to connect siloed systems and data across the organisation. The revelation comes in a short video posted by Zoho on YouTube and demonstrates that Zoho continues to succeed in enterprises.

James Hirst the Vice President of Development - Global Creative Network at ITV Studios
James Hirst the Vice President of Development – Global Creative Network at ITV Studios

During the video James Hirst the Vice President of Development – Global Creative Network at ITV Studios, reveals the challenge faced by the organisation and how Zoho provided a solution with its low-code platform.

ITV Studios faced a challenge that many organisations had. Over the years, functions had built spreadsheets to coordinate activities within ITV’s production and distribution arm. It meant that thousands of spreadsheets, sometimes linked but often not, had potentially multiple points of failure. These disconnections may have led to data duplication, leading to misalignment of information across the organisation.

While as Hirst put it, “each individual aspect of the business worked well with their own cobbled-together systems.” He added, “the consolidation of data was something we knew we needed to do.”

Hirst considered bringing together the spreadsheets into a cohesive platform but quickly realised that this would lead to even more spreadsheets and potentially make the situation worse. What was required was a solution that would bring all of the data into a single place where each function could leverage it for its own use while maintaining the visibility of the data from a business-wide point of view. This would enable business leaders to understand what was happening and avoid duplication of effort.

The project

Having looked around at various solutions, Hirst selected Zoho Creator alongside a partner, in this case, A2Z Cloud, the leading Zoho integrator in the UK and a premium Zoho partner. A2Z Cloud had previously leveraged Zoho Creator at Psychology Direct to help build a unified system and custom-built payment application using Zoho CRM, Zoho Books and Zoho Creator.

Hirst explained that the decision to select the Zoho Platform with its low code solution was that it could provide a solution that could quickly build something and iterate it in an agile way, delivering value quickly.

Over a short period, it worked with A2Z Cloud, who provided the technical expertise and helped through the ideation process to produce something that delivered value within 6 weeks. Hirst said, “We worked with our partner’s A2Z to create something within a six-week period that immediately we could see the benefits, and then start to play with and process how that would work within our teams.”

Rob O’Brien, Head of International Technology, ITV Studios, commented, “To build, launch and roll out such as important system to ITV within 6-7 weeks is a fantastic achievement. Thank you to all the team involved at A2Z Cloud.”

The future with Zoho Creator

This is also not the end of the story, with Hirst adding, “We are always finding new ways to bring more systems into one place. We can quickly build aspects of Creator. It is a one-stop shop now to go and find the information you need. I don’t think we’re 100% of the way there. But we’re definitely much further along that road than we were before we started using create.”

What is telling is the statement that Hirst closes the video with. He noted, “The longer people have been using the system. The more users we have coming into the system, the more benefit we’re all getting.”

The inference is that ITV Studios continue to see the benefit as the solution is rolled out across more departments, each connecting its own processes to the business solution that now provides a central repository of information. It is interesting for two reasons. One is that it shows that rolling out a low-code platform does not need a big-bang approach. Hirst went for quick wins in a proof of concept, and it is now increasing the value brought by Zoho across the organisation. Second is that Zoho works well across a large organisation; others may have thought it was only suited to the SME market.

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

While the video is short, and the customer quote and information on the A2Z Cloud platform are equally light, it paints an impressive picture. However, there is a lack of detail which leaves several questions unanswered, such as how Hirst found the DevOps capability of Zoho Creator, what mistakes were made, and how his team has learnt from them. Also, what governance was put around the development platform and has Hirst been able to leverage citizen developers within the wider organisation? What is clear is that Zoho has made a strong and positive impression on Hirst and ITV. It is not a company that regularly talks about the systems it implements within the organisation.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here