Netflix’s New Take on Corporate IT

One of the biggest customers of Amazon Web Services is reinventing the way they deliver corporate IT services by starting at the top and working their way down. Recently, the Wall Street Journal reported that Mike Kail left Netflix to become CIO at Yahoo. What’s more interesting about the move is that Netflix did not refill Kail’s position within the company. In fact, Netflix took Kail’s responsibilities and consolidated them with an existing executive’s duties.

When companies discuss cloud, they typically discuss methods in which they can streamline their business processes using the available resources found in cloud data centers. Netflix’s departure of Kail coincides with a recent report that mentions Netflix will be 100% cloud by 2015. It’s also important to note that Netflix currently does not have a CIO listed within their corporate documents. Netflix has not named the person who has assumed the responsibilities of Kail but one has to assume that if Kail’s responsibilities were shrinking so much that another executive could pick up his workload, industry experts must begin thinking about the future of information officers within the executive ranks.

Anna Marie Squeo commented on the departure by saying, “Mike’s departure allowed us to combine data center and streaming operations under one executive who serves in a very similar capacity.”

In early September, Justin Slaten from Netflix mentioned, “[Our goal] is absolutely achievable. We’ve been a cloud-first company for a long time. There were some legacy things that run in the data center that weren’t low-hanging fruit – maybe the last 10 per cent – and it’s like being on a diet. It’s always the last 10lbs that are the hardest to lose.”

With Netflix shifting so much of internal IT infrastructure as a service, the lines between cloud delivery for Netflix customers and cloud delivery for Netflix employees becomes blurred. The bigger question is if CIOs and Directors of IT have to worry about their careers. With the cloud consolidating so many business processes, industry professionals must also worry about their job duties also being consolidated much like Kail’s job was at Netflix.