Thursday, September 05, 2013

What Do All these SMAC Developments Mean?

The research team at Cognizant has come up with some interesting numbers related to SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud) for us all to ponder:
  • 37% of all media consumption in the U.S. in 2012 was via a mobile device
  • 3 out of 5 searches are done through mobile devices
  • Data production will be 44 times greater in 2020 than it was in 2009
What do you think these numbers mean for enterprises today and tomorrow?


I see digital transformation spinning off many different business trends and technology waves.  Consumers want to consume media on mobile devices. This in turn drives tablet sales, as most media is easier to view on tablets.  Tablets and other mobile devices encourage and promote the digitization of customer engagements and produce more data (code halos) that enables new business models to emerge based on a strategic use of big data analytics tied to marketing and commerce platforms.

The more data and commerce that flows through mobile devices, the more companies focus on mobile marketing and sales channels.  I see no end to the popularity of mobile devices, so this trend is guaranteed to continue.  The question for us now is how this will impact traditional sales and marketing channels and strategies.

Real-time communications and data exchanges on mobile devices, drives the desire for all kinds of additional real-time interactions including collaboration, and commerce.  This in turn requires businesses to transform themselves and re-engineer their businesses to support real-time interactions and engagements.

The competition will quickly move beyond just supporting mobile devices, and re-engineering for real-time commerce and services, to personalizing engagements and enabling context-aware applications and devices (think health and fitness) and Pandora's, Netflix's and's ability to recommend items based on the data they have collected on you.  This same context aware capability will quickly spread into the enterprise where mobile applications will understand you, your role, your task, your location and support your needs without being asked.  There is a lot of work to be done here.  ClickSoftware, as an example, has created context aware mobile applications for field services.  You can read and watch a short video on their ClickButler here.

Another emerging trend is the convergence of mobile and wireless data whether it is from a mobile device or an embedded wireless sensor in your car, home appliance, home security system, oil pipeline, city bus or manufacturing assembly line.  These sensors will quickly be in everything, producing massive quantities of data begging to be used in clever applications for both personal and enterprise purposes.


I am not reporting anything new here.  This is all happening now. We all see it. Enterprises need to be evaluating their entire "information logistics" systems today to understand where they have problems supporting mobile and real-time environments.  They need to replace any systems that cannot support this quickly emerging world.  They also need to secure this new wireless world and their data from bad guys.

Real-time environments require different management practices.  Companies will need to re-train managers and executives on how to work with real-time data and business intelligence so as not to suffer from decision-making paralysis.  New decision-making tools and methods will need to be employed.  In addition, new business strategies, business models, management techniques, customer service and engagement paradigms all need to be re-thought in this fast moving, mobile and real-time age.

Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
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***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.