It’s all about SMAC

Article by Nilesh Rane

The effect of Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud on the Business Ecosystem

According to Nasscom’s Strategic Review 2014 report, "The Indian software industry’s exports may grow by about 13% in fiscal year 2014 to $87 billion (around Rs.5.4 trillion today), driven by its ability to offer solutions that integrate new business models such as analytics and cloud-based services, which are part of SMAC (cloud, mobile, analytics, big data and social media services) with traditional ones."

Industry experts predict that the convergence of SMAC - social media, mobility, analytics, and cloud computing - will be a powerful business-technology enabler of the next decade. The increasing pace of change is rapidly driving customer, businesses and technology firms together with disruptive technologies blurring the boundaries separating them. With SMAC unleashing unlimited opportunities for enterprises, it will become the leading disruptor to the business-technology ecosystem over the next few years.

SMAC and other emerging technologies create the possibility for new ways to develop products, interact with customers, partner with others, compete and succeed. With the maturity of these technologies, innovative platforms for collaboration would also get a boost, further providing an opportunity to enhance organizational productivity as well. More than strategy for any individual technology trend or for combining more than one of them, companies needs a systematic approach to engage with these technologies.

Companies that have the most success engaging with SMAC are rethinking their business and enterprise architectures and emphasizing 3 fundamental changes.

  • They acknowledge that SMAC trends are the strongest signal yet that business ecosystem is becoming more digitized. Digitalization opens up possibilities to combine digital and physical resources within and outside an organization, to collaborate and integrate technologies and human talent in innovative ways, to strengthen innovation and to achieve new heights of operational excellence.
  • They understand that successfully tapping the new drivers of value requires a digital operating model, a model attuned to participating in or integrating with expanding digital ecosystems.Such a model will enable companies gain significant competitive advantage in the form of scale, speed to market, agility and closeness to their customers.
  • Successful companies are adjusting their business and enterprise architectures to allow easy digital connections with customers and stakeholders to derive business value.

Scaling integrations requires a digital operating model

A digital operating model is required to ensure that the technologies complement each other, because each of them essays a different role, for example, social media helps us determine who we work with (colleagues or customers with whom collaborate and share), mobile devices provide us access (how we get to work), analytics helps you determine metrics that matter by making actionable sense of the data available and cloud computing represents where we work (information and applications used).


Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) are the four pillars that are driving business innovation across enterprises. Social Applications and Media allow businesses to reach their customers anywhere anytime, as most of these customers now use Mobile technologies to interact, communicate, search and buy products and services. Behind this social one-to-one interaction by organizations is a careful strategy that uses Data Analytics using Cloud Computing software to understand users’ experience and preferences and personalize the content to their needs.

Emerging Technology Trends - SMAC - Netmagic
Source: PwC

As enterprises become more committed to seek insights through the information they gather by exploiting the four pillars of SMAC; adoption of SMAC collaboratively rather than separately may have better impact on organizations.


"If SMAC were the human body, Social would be like the hands – allowing a person to interact and share with the environment. Mobile will be like the senses –eyes and ears allowing a person to fully soak in the environment. Analytics will be like the brain. And finally, the Cloud will be like the skeleton or body. The glue that binds it all together. It is the mothership that holds the smaller components and carries the workload."

Technology is moving at a breakneck pace. SMAC - Social, mobile, analytics, cloud, and increasingly the Internet of Things have become driving forces behind the rapid evolution of digital businesses.What does this mean for enterprise IT departments?

While it’s true that IT departments everywhere would be well-advised to adopt the SMAC approach as soon as possible, the resources that come along with SMAC stacks will actually make their jobs easier and maximize their capabilities.Already, modern IT departments are tasked with bringing together and maintaining scattered, disparate platforms, networks and equipment to give internal and external customers what they want. This isn’t new, and it’s long kept IT departments from responding as quickly, securely or nimbly, as they’d like. Let’s say that 100 new employees all need their own personalized computing resources requiring different software and functionality. This used to be a serious undertaking.

Now, mobility and cloud computing in particular have made consistent, scalable solutions possible across multiple types of platforms. Because cloud-based software doesn’t have to be tailored for specific operating systems, it works for anyone. And mobile access allows people to access and accomplish work as easily from their phones as from their desks.

Mobile in particular has evolved tremendously to make this happen. This is one area where IT departments need to invest in creating mobile experiences and applications that are easy to navigate and use. Its not just about making websites or data appear correctly on handsets or tablets, it’s about designing and implementing products tailored specifically to mobile devices. Once these products and services exist, they have the potential to revolutionize productivity.This doesn’t mean that social and analytics infrastructure should take a back seat though. IT departments can leverage interactions on social channels to respond more quickly to concerns, stay in touch with what people want and need, and deliver superior service.

Very similarly, analytics can be collected through a variety of channels, from social sites to transactions to filed tickets. IT departments can parse this big data to determine what needs to be improved company-wide, which issues are the most pressing, and how people are best taught and helped on a macro level. Also, with so many more end points out in the world with every employee carrying their own company laptop and cell phone, analytics can help calculate risk exposure so that potential issues can be headed off at the pass.

Taken together, SMAC resources can make IT operations leaner, faster and smarter. It’s something that a number of companies big and small have already discovered and enthusiastically embraced. What will be most interesting is how the approach will evolve we learn more about social, mobile, analytics and the cloud can be optimized. That’s the beauty of the SMAC approach. Each component deepens understanding of the others, making for an increasingly powerful, long-term strategy.