An innovative technology platform consisting of Social Networking, Mobility, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC for short) is creating the basis of new business models which is renovating customer experience.
Every ten years, the IT industry has witnessed new innovations which have changed the way services are delivered to the businesses and customers. Popularly believed to be the fifth wave of IT architectures – after Mainframe, minicomputer, Distributed PC, and Internet PC – SMAC adds a new dimension to the business model which is comprised of social, mobile, analytics and cloud technologies.
A rough magnitude of these changes across various IT eras is shown in the table below:
The Four Pillars of the Future
1. Social Media
The millennial generation is a social generation. There have been doubts among them whether they should use social media or not – primarily because it is considered as a ‘waste of time’. However, organizations must acknowledge that social media is not just a fad and is one of the most important areas to focus on.
Social media functions in a dialogic transmission system. Various industries are now opting for social media platforms to sell their products or to connect with their customers, as a result of which customer services has been tremendously improved.
When it comes to mobility aspect of SMAC, it is already an undeniable revolution we are going through. Smartphones and tablets have changed the way we access digital content and bought the content on fingertips of consumers.
Customers can purchase products almost anything from anywhere, which means more accessibility and insights into their buying preferences. While social media helps customer engagement, mobility helps businesses stay in touch with their customers.
Companies and individuals generate billions of gigabytes of data every year. Data is everywhere, but analytics is required to think. There is a strong urge to analyze this huge data to gain competitive advantage.
Analytics holds tremendous potential and can help organizations better understand their customers which drive innovation to respond to the changing consumer requirements. Companies can develop their business strategies based on data and meaningful analytics.
4. Cloud Computing
The cloud element is the linchpin of SMAC and simply refers to the use software applications as a service without buying them. Businesses may not need to spend dollars building data warehouse – simply rent it from cloud service provider, use when they need it and turn it off.
Cloud provides businesses a newfound agility, cutting the costs associated with physical server maintenance and breaking down geographical barriers. The undeniable power of cloud to improve productivity and foster innovations is now accepted by both the customers and IT vendors.
The Stacking Effect
While each component of SMAC has the capability of improving a business on its own, integrating them in a stack, makes them more influential and empowers them to maximize their customer base.
Each industry has its own point of view on SMAC. Gartner calls it The Nexus of Forces, while Forrester refers SMAC to The Mobile Mindshift. Whatever the name experts and analysts are using, everyone agrees that all components taken together can have an exponential change in the rate of technology and business change.
The notion of SMAC has already established a base for itself. However, the adoption is still in nascent stage. Components of SMAC are interconnected and thus, in order to get a holistic result, companies need to amalgamate these appropriately.