S(ocial), M(obile), A(nalytics) & C(loud): SMAC the four most potent and distinct trends of the information technology world are now starting to converge with major implications for the business world. Mobility and social are at the driving front focused at the consumers while analytics and cloud provide the technological infrastructure for informed decisions and rapid scalability.
(S)ocial Media: Business owners have always tried to get into the minds of their customers and make them like their products; or at least find out their preferences and modify their products accordingly. With the entire world now on a common social platform, it is finally possible to understand and perhaps even manage and control brand images. Social media is transforming the way companies market their brands. It has also changed how consumers share and discover new brand experiences and is creating a ‘super consumer’ who often has more knowledge about products and services than most of the marketers and merchandisers selling them.
(M)obile: The mobile data has evolved beyond a smart phone connected to the internet. It involves real time data and secure data transfer any time, any place, on any device. The consumer is no longer a person at home trying to make up his mind on what to buy and similarly the business management is no longer sitting in board rooms discussing quarterly reports. The two are face to face 24/7 and so are the competitors.
(A)nalytics(Big Data ): With so much information pouring in from all parts of the world, it is imperative to use the exponentially growing data to perform analytics that model and control processes, identify deep trends and make better business decisions. It has the potential to fundamentally change business operations and come up with new models to keep pace with changing trends.
(C)loud: Cloud is the most popular but often the most misunderstood trend today. There are different types of cloud computing including public, private and hybrid, delivering platform, infrastructure and software as a service. Instead of spending on scaling and agility, businesses can go for an asset-light model to share resources that helps them become more competitive and efficient.
So now a business can observe the social space for consumer’s reaction to their products or services; aggregate the data in real time and rapidly develop new platform to test the market and offer it to the users in real time for feedback. All of this with minimum effort and cost!
But have we arrived or are we still in transition?
Having observed the changing technology trends for many years, I can tell one thing with certainty: the emergence and convergence of these mega trends will continue to evolve. We shall see new trends and new innovations in these four fields and as companies seize these opportunities, they can reduce feedback time, increase value to customers and minimize risk by integrating world-class planning and processes, rapid deployment methodologies and a proven migration experience to every engagement.