What Netflix Can Teach Other Businesses About The Cloud And Big Data

Cloud and VideoCompanies of all sizes have been moving more IT services to the cloud and trying to mine Big Data for business gains for the past few years. But one organization has pushed the envelope of cloud and data so far, it’s changed an industry.

Netflix, with its “all in” cloud approach and revolutionary Big Data strategy, has provided a model for success. And now enterprise and IT leaders in a range of industries can learn from the entertainment giant to adapt its lessons to their own businesses.

Let’s take a look at some of the important ways businesses can learn from Netflix:

Big Data everywhere

If there’s data to be collected about customer behavior, Netflix is collecting it. With more than 30 million subscribers worldwide, the company amasses and analyzes information on what’s being played every day, including pauses, rewinds, and fast forwards; ratings; searches; the time of day content is watched; and what devices viewers are using. Companies in other industries might not have a need for the same information Netflix collects, but the lesson is that customers create a lot of data, and it’s in businesses’ best interest to gather and evaluate as much as possible to fit their own needs.

The more you know

So what does Netflix do with all the data it collects? First, it analyzes it to learn as much as it can about its customers. For example, thanks to Big Data, Netflix knows that binge viewing has become a social norm, no matter what kind of shows are available.

Next, it uses what it learns to improve its offerings: It makes its service more user-friendly and provides recommendations. It has even used data to create original content, such as House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. Thanks to its massive database of entertainment preferences, Netflix has learned what to make to appeal to its customers.

The lesson for businesses is that Big Data can be used not only to improve the customer experience for retention, but to create innovative ways gain more customers.

Endless possibilities

Newer technologies like the Internet of Things may provide even more opportunities for success.

At the recent International Consumer Electronics show, Shawn DuBravac, chief economist for the Consumer Electronics Association, described a possibility for Netflix: What if the company were able to access a wearable biofeedback device that tells whether you are stressed or happy? Or it uses your TV camera to count the number of people in your living room? How could Netflix use that information to tailor its service even further?

The lesson: Rising technologies may be Netflix’s next move to boost business further — and it would serve business and IT leaders well to imagine the possibilities for their own organizations.

What other companies should business leaders look to for cloud, Big Data, and Internet of Things inspiration?

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