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Every BPO provider needs a good SMAC

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By Martin Conboy  alt=Current trends in Corporate IT have caused enterprises across industries to rethink their digital strategies.

The second generation of Silicon Valley innovators and the rise of disruptive technologies have together redefined both innovation in IT and the IT industry itself. The worlds of consumer technology and enterprise technology have merged.

The next wave of IT can be found in Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud (SMAC) delivered as a holistic solution known as the SMAC stack.

Disruption and innovation as caused by the adoption of digital technologies have propelled some companies to meteoric success while contributing to the demise of others. Even companies once viewed as innovative have often failed to respond to disruption in the market, hanging on to legacy business models and out dated IT systems. The cycles of innovation are occurring faster and faster. The ability of a company to keep up with these changes will determine how business contends with the challenges of tomorrow. Digital transformation through SMAC gives businesses an advantage over the competition in winning the battle for the future.

Source: Capgemini Consulting

Margaret Rouse in her blog on Whatis.com says that SMAC is the concept that four technologies are currently driving business innovation. SMAC creates an ecosystem that allows a business to improve its operations and get closer to the customer with minimal overhead and maximum reach. The proliferation of structured and unstructured data that is being created by mobile devices, sensors, social media, loyalty card programs and website browsing is creating new business models built upon customer-generated data. None of the four technologies can be an afterthought because it’s the synergy created by social, mobile, analytics and cloud working together that creates a competitive advantage.

SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud) technologies have been reshaping BPO relationships for some time now. They have proven to be disruptive, affecting the buying behaviours of customers as well driving the digital transformation of enterprises. Most organisations, however, are failing to appreciate the full impact of SMAC and what it means for their future.

S is for Social Media

As social media sites continue to spawn and proliferate, the range of audiences they reach continues to grow and diversify. Believe or not, according to recent statistics and reports, the fastest growing demographic on Twitter are adults aged 54 – 66. According to a recent post on Fast Company blog more and more 45 – 54 year olds are using Facebook and Google+.  Fastest growing – yes. But these age groups are still a long way from being the largest. Nevertheless it does recognise a growing use of social media by broader and more diverse groups. And potentially more affluent groups within society.

M is for Mobile

By the end of this year (2014) the amount of mobile devices will exceed the number of people inhabiting the planet. According to recent research from Cisco, monthly global mobile data and traffic will surpass 15 exabytes by 2018. According to an IDC paper 161 exabytes of data were created in 2006 that is 3 million times the amount of information contained in all the books ever written”. Much of this data will be generated around social media sites, apps, responsive and interactive websites, that allows consumers to access a range of services from their phone or tablet. Mobility is a vital platform for building customer relationships.

A is for Analytics

Every day the world creates 2.6 exabytes of data. 90 percent of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. That’s an enormous amount of data. Much of it stems from social media and the transactions consumers make via their mobile devices and other channels. Organisations are looking to harness this vast reservoir of data to generate meaningful insight into the buying patterns and behaviours of consumers and customers. But it is a daunting task and one requiring specialist skill sets and tools to make it practicable.

C is for Cloud

Everybody is talking about the cloud these days. The provision of computing and business resources on a utility basis, offering immediate scalability upon demand. No need to wheel in large boxes into air-conditioned rooms with false floors. Anyone, with a browser can access their applications regardless of geographic location.

SMAC is not a brand new acronym. It’s been around for one or two years. But most Australian organisations have not really taken it on board. They’ve taken on maybe one or two facets of it. Or if they have taken on more they haven’t really integrated their approach as an overall strategy.

In IT circles it is referred to as the SMAC stack. Capgemini Consulting highlights how the combined technologies of the SMAC stack have the potential to erase geographical barriers, cut costs, and enhance operations and business process efficiencies.

BPO providers need to be at the forefront of the SMAC stack and assist their clients in developing an integrated strategy. Organisations need to spend more time and effort thinking about the convergence of these four elements, and how digital disruption will transform their business.

SMAC is impacting all businesses large and small. SMAC allows companies to move into high-margin businesses due to its global reach, low overheads and high availability.

The BPO providers that develop products and services around SMAC that can deliver competitive advantage for their customers will achieve front-runner advantage in this new gold rush.
November 26, 2014
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