SAN FRANCISCO: The enterprise technology manager of movie and TV streaming giant Netflix has spoken of the balance his department has to strike in a company which strongly believes in freedom and responsibility among its employees while securing data and protecting networks.
Justin Slaten, speaking at a panel on security and ease of use at BoxWorks, explained that Netflix's corporate culture requires a certain degree of compromise when working on IT products for staff members.
"Our corporate culture is known as pioneering. Our culture is for freedom and responsibility," he said. "In IT it's hard to balance the freedom and responsibility while giving everybody the tools they need to be effective at their job and making sure there are no data leaks.
"The biggest challenges are in security – we put a lot of trust in our partners [vendors] – we work very closely with them and we encourage everybody in the department to join calls with vendors to talk about where they may be failing and succeeding, and what to do better."
The attitude of freedom also comes to the firm's BYOD culture, with Slaten admitting that he and his team "doesn't believe" in mobile device management (MDM). "We believe in securing the content and not necessarily the device," he explained. "People will use any device, we don't have any policy, we just protect the data."
Slaten stated that his priorities lie with creating an experience that is a frictionless as possible, so that while his teams have a choice as to how they work, they don't "go rogue" and start breaking protocol. Specifically talking about how the firm uses Box, he said that he had been able to strike this balance.
"As soon as there's friction and you find people finding tools on their own. If you're too locked down they'll find a way to share [files]. We have to stay ahead of the curve to allow them to do their job well by letting them have the freedom to use the tools they want to use."
Netflix's chief cloud architect Adrian Cockcroft took part in V3's Hot Seat column in June, opening up on his everyday work life and personal ambitions.
Netflix now boasts 40 million users and this week became the first online-only TV series producer to win an Emmy, picking up two for its hit series House of Cards.
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