Monday, 14 April 2014

SMAC technologies in 2014 and beyond

The increasing pace of change is rapidly driving customer, businesses and technology firms in a tight embrace, with the convergence of disruptive technologies eroding the boundaries separating them. Businesses are becoming more and more agile, and technologies such as social media, mobility, analytics and cloud computing are coming together to unleash unlimited opportunities for everyone involved. This convergence – also known as SMAC – will be the leading disruptor to the business-technology ecosystem over the next few years. 

Social media
A social media strategy has become a must for all enterprises, be it banks, retailers or the government. With over one billion individuals logged on to various social networks, 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. While most enterprises use social media for their customer service function only, many firms have now started using social media in tandem with their sales and marketing functions. This in turn enables firms to use data generated by the customers effectively to service their larger pools of customers.

Mobile devices have changed the way people access digital content. Smartphones and tablets have brought rich, digital content to the fingertips of consumers. Mobile banking has emerged as one of the most innovative products in the financial services industry. Shoppers are increasingly using their mobile devices for everything from browsing to comparing to buying products. Governments are also reaching out to their citizens, using mobile devices as an efficient channel. Enterprises must also jump on to the mobility bandwagon, and ensure that their applications are mobile ready.

Every year, companies and individuals generate billions of gigabytes of data. Data, which properly analyzed and used in time, can emerge as an unbeatable competitive advantage. Enterprises need to recognize the prospect analytics represents and should adapt their IT strategy to capture such opportunities’. Analytics can help retailers predict buying decisions of shoppers; it can help banks weed out fraudulent transactions; while governments can use analytics to provide services directly to their citizens. Predictive analytics has also been adopted across industries in various scenario building activities.

Cloud computing

The undeniable power of cloud computing to foster innovations and imprve productivity is now accepted by both IT vendors and their customers. 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. Moreover, their existing infrastructure has helped telecom players to emerge as providers of cloud computing, leading to erosion in boundaries between IT and telecom vendors.

Kevin Parikh Jan 14 Fig 1

Experts predict that the confluence of SMAC -- social media, mobility, analytics, and cloud computing -- will be a potent and leading business-technology enabler of the next decade. They agree that the SMAC ecosystem will have a huge rub-off on IT services. Gartner estimates that India-centric IT services vendors will witness an 8-10% annual revenue growth from SMAC. 

SMAC may provide the much-needed boost for India’s $108-billion IT sector, which has had a jagged growth in the last couple of years on account of global economic challenges, falling consumer spending, and a Eurozone crisis in their main markets. Industry body Nasscom foresees a 12-14% revenue growth in the ongoing fiscal year. The adoption of disruptive technologies could further impel client spending. 

Typical SMAC Stack

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