The tech community and tech savvy business users are now talking about the latest buzzword, abbreviated SMAC (Social, Mobility, Analytics and Cloud). Here is a lowdown on SMAC and how it is impacting business today.
Business models are changing and the pace of decision making has increased. Executives across the ranks need instant access to the latest and most relevant business information. And they need to have this information on their personal devices. Remember how push email revolutionized business communications? Well, the same thing is now happening for business data.
Ten years ago, all business information resided on-premise, in a centralized database and accessed using enterprise applications through a client server model. Employees had to use desktop computers to log in to an ERP, CRM or SCM system. Before that, they had to go through a training process to familiarize themselves with complicated interfaces, processes and workflows (remember all those SAP training sessions?)
Today, the dull battleship grey interfaces in ERP are making way for colorful interfaces with data visualization tools. ISVs are building customized, industry-specific templates, layered on top of those dull ERP interfaces. This improves the user experience, and enables executives to quickly access the latest business information. With analytics capabilities integrated, one can access the most relevant and updated business information — to make spot decisions. Using social or collaborative tools on the cloud, groups of users can review this information and collaborate on those decisions. And since this information is also accessible on mobile devices, one need not be in the office (or behind a desktop) to access it. This combination of Social, Mobility, Analytics and Cloud technologies (abbreviated SMAC) is what businesses are adopting today, for the cutting edge.
Just look at how SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, IBM and others are spending billions of dollars, acquiring companies or developing applications to address the demand for SMAC.
The writer has been tracking consumer and enterprise technologies for the past 18 years.