Point of View: Tech war winners

Joe Mandese

Madison Avenue has struggled to keep up with the pace of technology innovation. I'm talking about the technology the ad industry uses to process advertising and media buys – systems such as Donovan Data Systems.

While the rest of the world has been undergoing a digital revolution that is transforming the way brands use media to interact with consumers, the enterprise software systems that agencies use to manage the process have largely lived up to their oft-used nickname: legacy systems. It wasn't too long ago that many of them were still using rudimentary DOS operating systems.Then they progressed to Windows and/or Mac interfaces, and more recently to full-blown browser-based web interfaces.

There are many reasons for the latency. Some of them are cultural, stemming from the fact that even as industries are altered, it is sometimes difficult to get people to change the way they do things. But another big factor is that there wasn't much incentive to change. As long as Donovan was a near monopoly, big agencies were dependent on it because they didn't have anywhere else to go.