“Race, Race against the dying of the light”
This rephrasing of the Dylan Thomas poem essentially says that as a manager one has to keep in pace with the technology that is travelling at the speed of the light. For instance, take the entertainment industry. One can easily witness the improvement in technology over the years and how the industry has been surviving by acclimatizing itself with the ever-expanding horizons of technology. We can enumerate the industry scenario with the help of an example. In 1997 when Reed Hastings found the organization called Netflix, it was yet another DVD rental store. Through innovation, the model has been turned to mailing the DVD and later the individual DVD rental went away and the monthly subscription came in to the picture. One might think this as a management innovation and not a technical advancement; but this is the reason they were able to technically advance themselves.
Netflix advanced itself with the advancement of technology by introducing the option of Video on Demand via internet. They saw that the internet will be the future. Then the streaming service took the rapid growth. They promoted their new technology by giving free streaming hours at the beginning. Their online streaming service took a huge leap and so they were not worried when the DVD rental business went down. They don’t have to worry as they have reinvented themselves with the technological growth. Netflix has more than 32% of market penetration in the online streaming sector. The sector has grown as a giant. Netflix through this success has even started making TV series exclusively available to Netflix subscribers. In February 2013 it started its original content with the series House of Cards with Kevin Spacey in it. The plot was directed by David Fincher who is also an executive producer for the series. They found the huge success which led to the production of many more tele serials such as Lilyhammer, Orange is the new black and Hemlock Grove. These series were also renewed for another season. Even after this astounding success many doubted regarding the success of the model in the future but what they failed to see is the data they have. Netflix has clear idea about their subscribers through the efficient Management Information System they possess, which records the preferences of the subscribers. It helps them to understand their taste and gives them suggestions based on their taste and preferences. It is the one differentiation factor that made them not a step ahead but miles ahead of the competitors. Although their competitors Walmart, Amazon and Comcast have a pretty good customer base they didn’t have the edge Netflix have over the others in the streaming arena.
In the hindsight it is evident that the competitor who was present at the initial stage of the competition is not at all present now. The reinvention of the company along with the technological development is the only reason for Netflix to be the market leader. This can be extended to all sectors. Another classic example is the Hilton hotels. Hilton hotels uses a Management Information System named OnQ. This software helps them identify the Diamond Customers, helps the hotels to learn the customer preferences and much more. The system stores every possible data available regarding their business and that leads to the higher leverage in making a decision. This information is integrated to the umbrella of hotels under Hilton hotels. This way Hilton differentiates itself to the customer by making them feel special. They are operating according to the philosophy of “Customer Really Matters”. In today’s growth of competition it is important for any company to keep up with the growth of technology. Today the data is the king and which drives the business. As Sir Arthur Conan Doyle rightly said, “Data, Data, Data… I can’t make bricks without clay”. The search for data has been increased tremendously.
The above quotes and examples and citing lead us to the term BIG DATA. Big Data today gives too much of data managing which is a bigger job the data itself. Today managing the Big is the challenge and without technology, even thinking of it is nearly impossible to say the least. Making inferences from the big data is the biggest challenge every industry is facing and to even make that possible it is essential to travel along with state of the art technology. Data analytics has nearly changed every field of business. Big data and the Data analytics not only have helped in the field of business but also in the field of sports. Sports analytics has been taken seriously today. Be it from the Peter Brand’s Sabarmetrics or simple data analysis such as HARO, HARD and HART in hockey, they are effective in forecasting the variables in sport.
Today the Data is no more considered as just an information provider but rather it has evolved into a tool to display one’s competitive advantage. They are the decision variables which help the organization to direct them on a new path; it may even lead to path breaking decisions. Data scientists are in very high requirement. All they need is an effective way to store the data and an efficient way to analyze. It might be repetitive and one may feel the overabundance of the data but it is the biggest asset to an organization and the defining differentiator of the organization. It helps in building a business model to analyze the existing situational model. It nearly brings everything to perfection.
One can clearly say that the growing technology has to be appreciated and it is essential to embrace the technology. Change is inevitable, and survival is possible only for the fittest player. Only if a player can embrace the technology and able to optimally use it, he can move further up the ladder. Being ‘old school’ might look majestic for a while but aligning oneself with appropriate technology will only help in sustaining the competition.