With the confluence of innovative technologies, we are entering into a new landscape with a plethora of fresher and better possibilities, a time-space which we know of as the Post-Digital era.
The evolution in the area of technology has changed the face of business. Dynamics like social media, mobility, analytics and cloud computing have collaboratively boosted the fundamentals of business infrastructure, adding to the deftness within the enterprise and in the market.
To highlight the incorporation of the aforementioned enablers of technology, the IT industry has come up with a new concept which has become the buzzword of today, ‘SMAC’- an acronym for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud.
What is SMAC?
SMAC is a concept that is built on the symbiotic integration of the four ends of technology- Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud. It develops an ecosystem that allows businesses to enhance their operations and maximize their reach to the customers with minimal overhead. Also, the fusion of these four wings unleashes a surge of new ideas for business innovations regarding workflows, methodologies, services and products.In short, the SMAC technology is a comprehensive and a single tool that provides a holistic solution for businesses.
Prospects of SMAC
SMAC is called the future enterprise technology. Nevertheless, the process of exploitation of this technology has already kicked in. It is redefining the IT solutions available in the ecosystem by delivering a holistic service backed by the unification of multiple disruptive technology enablers and entrepreneurial approaches. Below is an infographic by Wipro forecasting SMAC by 2016.
Social media is no more just a fad. It has turned out to be one of the most important areas of focus for businesses. In fact, today it has become instrumental in shaping the consumer decisions as well as behaviour .The usability of social media has grown exponentially; people are now using social media for advice on what products to buy, where to shop and even regarding what firms they want to work with. Hence, social media renders immense scope for customer engagement and brand building. Therefore, building a social media strategy has become a mandate for all enterprises.
While most companies exploit social media for their customer service function only, many enterprises have now begun using this platform in tandem with their sales and marketing. This in turn enables them to utilize the data generated by the customers effectively to further serve their bigger bunches of customers. Furthermore, Social media demolishes the barriers that limit the sharing of knowledge amongst various networks, thereby encouraging rapid exchange of collaborative information which can boost the business marketing results.
Mobile devices have revolutionized the way people access digital content. In fact, the rise in the use of mobile devices has been so prolific that it has led to the inception of a new stream of business, called mCommerce.
With the introduction of smartphones and tablets, digital content has come to the fingertips of consumers. Given to such an easy accessibility, there has been a dramatic shift from laptop/desktop to mobile devices. Another factor that is driving the use of mobile devices is their flexibility/mobility i.e, users can obtain data on the go without having to be stationed at a fixed location.
Mobile banking has emerged as one of the most innovative products in the financial services industry. This has led to a tremendous increase in the use of mobile devices by customers. Not only do the customers buy products through these devices but also carry out the pre-buying activities including browsing and product comparisons.
Mobile devices have emerged as an efficient channel between the sellers and buyers. Hence, the time demands of enterprises to jump on to the mobility bandwagon, and ensure that their applications are mobile ready. Below is an infographic forecasting mobile devices and connection trends by 2016.
Every year, enterprises generate billions of gigabytes of data. The availability of lower-cost hardware makes it easier and more feasible to retrieve and process information, fast and at lower costs than ever before.These data, if effectively analyzed and utilized, can prove to be an extremely valuable asset which can be later used as a competitive tool by the companies.
It is essential for the companies to recognize the prospect analytics which could be preserved for building future business strategies. Analytics can help retailers predict buying decisions of consumers. Likewise, it can expose fraudulent transactions. Also, these data, especially Predictive Analytics, could be adopted in various scenario building activities.
A vast range of data sources have emerged over the time, which have brought about a revolution in analytics. Following are a few sources, identified by KPMG in its report:
- Internet data comprising of social media, social networking links
- Primary research including surveys, experiments, observations
- Secondary research, basically industry reports, consumer data and other business data
- Location data – mobile device data, geospatial data
- Image data which comprises of video, satellite image, surveillance
- Supply chain data i.e., vendor catalogs and pricing, quality information
- Device data sensors- RF devices, telemetry.
Analytics are being used by companies for driving growth to reducing cost improving operational excellence to transforming their business strategies. Also, these data are exploited to get a better insight into the process of recruitment of employees.
These days, even the governments across the globe have begun making use of analytics for optimizing public welfare programs, reducing traffic congestion in their cities and fighting crimes.
Cloud has emerged as one of the most effective methods of storage, collaboration and internal and external sharing of data. It is widely adopted by enterprises, IT vendors as well as customers given to its scope for fostering innovations and improvising productivity.
Cloud Computing is gaining immense importance with each passing day given to the fact that this method maintains transparency and speed because of the participation of multiple users in the process. While the financial services and government sectors are mostly moving to a private cloud model due to information security concerns, other industries like healthcare and retail have adopted public cloud.
Further, this method is cost effective, agile, and less capital intensive. With Amazon Web Services launching a suite of cloud-based services in 2002, there has been a seminal increase in the number of cloud service providers with a myriad of solutions for various layers of technology ecosystem.
There are three major channels through which Cloud computing services are being offered, namely: public cloud, private cloud, and hybrid cloud among which public cloud services own the largest space in the total market owing to their easy availability, accessibility, and low cost of adoption.
- Business Process as a Service (BPaaS) will reach $180 Mn from present $67 Mn.
- SaaS will grow from $176 million in 2013 to $572 million.
- IT spending on public cloud services will reach $1.4 billion
- $4.2 billion will be spent on cloud services in India, $1.8 billion of which will be spent on software as a service (SaaS).
The Cloud market in India seems to be fertile. However, this technology has not been adopted widely because of infrastructural constraints faced by the service providers. Also, the absence of data security laws is another restricting reason, baring the IT service providers from establishing their data centres in the country. Cushman and Wakefield has ranked India the second most risky country among 30 countries for data centers – the backbone for cloud computing environment.
What sets SMAC technology apart?
SMAC is distinguished from its past generations of technology architectures by one significant attribute- diversity. It is a collaboration of multiple disruptive technologies, each carrying further layers in them, rendering a multitude of options, equally diverse and assorted.
Below is a video featuring Lanny Cohen, CTO Capegemini Group, talking about the opportunities and challenges around SMAC.
The concept of SMAC has already developed a base for itself. However, the adaptation, adoption and exploitation of this technology is still at an embryonic stage. Nevertheless, it is assumed and in fact, axiomatic that the convergence of these four pillars of technology would lead to an outburst of opportunities, enabling businesses to take a leap forward towards advancement.