The Information Technology industry has gone through revolutionary changes in the past decade. The commercialization of the internet in the 1990s disrupted the entire industry. From ERPs, network infrastructure, basic communication, and messaging services through the past decade, today IT has evolved to big data, cloud, analytics, and more – all to support the present age of digital disruption.
SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics & Cloud) is the latest game-changer. A year-old now, it is proving to be a boon to the businesses. Organizations are already utilizing at least one of the above four technologies. However, they are yet to witness the power of synergies from the integration of these four streams.
What is SMAC?
SMAC is a complete ecosystem for decision-making- utilizing the best of data analysis, communication, and technology. It offers the advantage of breaking geographical boundaries, enhancement of operational efficiencies, real-time data-driven decision making, and cost optimization.
Easy to understand but hard to manage -social channels are indispensable to an organization’s objective of connecting and engaging with customers, prospects and employees. It is no longer limited to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. for tapping into the customer database and timelines. Organizations are now embracing private social channels to achieve their objectives without breaching their audience’s privacy.
Mobile is changing the way people consume content and interact with organizations. Mobility offers unprecedented ability to put connectivity into the hands of individuals and devices. Today, mobile does not mean smartphones powered with web connectivity only, it also refers to data security and access- anytime, anywhere. The world of mobile applications, advances in technology like NFC, services like mobile wallets, Apple Pay, etc. are already transforming the industry. With the growth in Enterprise mobility, organizations will be able to support customer convenience by easily connecting with their customers and employees, and providing remote access to useful information.
Data analysis is a cornerstone to making intelligent decisions and garnering a competitive advantage. Organizations are laying more stress on collecting feedback and churning out data from all sources for enhanced decision-making. Today it has evolved from Predictive to Prescriptive Analytics, and this is set to change the dynamics of the way organizations make business decisions.
Cloud offers the advantage of offering low-cost solutions to enterprises by eliminating huge investments in infrastructure. It also offers the advantage of unlimited capacity for computational resources. Pay for what you consume will change the pricing dynamics in the industry. Security concerns in the past have started fading away with checks and balances in place at various levels. Cloud is all set to scale and will be a key element for supporting collaboration across organizations.
Sum of parts is greater than the whole– As organizations move towards integration of these platforms, social networks will be used for brand building, data collection, and customer engagement; analytics will be used to make sense of the volumes of data from social platforms; cloud computing will provide a shared pool of computational resources, and mobile applications will provide access to services on the go.
What’s in it for the C-suite?
The C-suite is often caught in the classic dilemma- increasing efficiency and reducing costs! In the past, with huge investments in technology infrastructure, these people faced a hard time taking risks. With the proliferation of information online from innumerable sources, power is shifting from sellers to buyers. C-suite takes cognizance of the fact that today it’s all about customers! And to make customer-centric decisions, data collection and analysis and remote access to information are necessary.
However, things are set to change with SMAC. They are scalable, cost-effective, and efficiency-driven solutions. CIOs have to supply organizations with best-in-class technology tools. As Information Technology drives the businesses of the future, CIOs are now turning to investments in the SMAC stack to make IT relevant to their businesses. SMAC is expected to be a $ 1 trillion industry by 2020.
With so many expectations, what will be the implications for businesses?
How is SMAC going to affect businesses?
SMAC is expected to make workplaces more collaborative, productive, and real-time. Below are some ways in which SMAC will transform businesses:
> More Digitization: A key change will be the digitization of processes and business models. With the increasing penetration of the internet and smartphones, most work happens online! The last few years have witnessed a surge in virtual business. In the future, more and more business models will operate online mode. Costs will come down as people move to the cloud, mobile will facilitate working from remote locations- anytime, anywhere, social will drive communications and analytics will help make quicker business discussions.
> Change in Work culture: An evident change will be in the way people work. Growth in Smartphone-savvy millennial employees and customers, and their hunch for convenience will transform the culture at workplaces. Wearable devices, increased use of data analysis, and technological advancements will force IT departments to embrace the SMAC approach to offer relevant communication experiences to their customers and employees. Integration of mobile and social will be paramount to increasing productivity and convenience at the workplace.
> Pressure on Infrastructure: However, all these will also lead to information overload and would increase pressure on data centers. This would have to be supported by an infrastructure layer to handle data streaming and decision-making.
All this will transform the role of CIOs in the business. SMAC Roadmap will be soon seen as an imperative in the digital transformation strategy for an organization.
In all, SMAC is a big step total making the digital business of the future and it is here to stay!
FACTS ON SMAC
> SOCIAL- 76% OF BUSINESSES ARE USING SOCIAL MEDIA FOR BUSINESS OBJECTIVES THIS YEAR
> MOBILE-0 72% BUSINESSES CITED IMPROVED PRODUCTIVITY AS A DRIVING FACTOR IN THE ADOPTION OF SMARTPHONE MOBILE DEVICES
> ANALYTICS- 75% OF EXECUTIVES ARE WORKING TO INCREASE THEIR COMPANY’S USE OF ANALYTICS
> CLOUD – 92% ARE SATISFIED WITH THEIR CLOUD BASED SERVICES