About this post: This past week Brian Fanzo and I officially launched our Podcast “SMACtalk” live. This post was inspired by the conversation we are having on (S)ocial, (M)obile, (A)nalytics, and (C)loud. From covering the future of work to the most useful applications of technology for business, we believe these topics are compelling and we are so excited to have the chance to share our ideas with you. We would be honored if you would take just a few minutes to check us out and join the community. Here it is in iTunes…We are grateful for every one of you and look forward to connecting more in 2015!
Today, four of the most impactful streams of technology – social media, mobile, big data, and cloud are gradually converging into one powerful force that’s making way for a huge shift in the current business landscape. While the combination of these technologies will unlock new opportunities for businesses, it will also change the way we live and work. On the whole, convergence technology is the new innovation to watch. Sound interesting?
If your interest is piqued, then you might be intrigued to hear that convergence technology is going to be utterly indispensable for businesses as well. Let me explain. Businesses are leveraging the power of social, mobile, cloud, and big data already. To this point, these powers have been compartmented, more or less. The truth, however, is when these technologies are allowed to overlap, they will reinforce each other’s benefits unlocking limitless potential for users. This is undoubtedly going to up the game in the areas of collaboration, engagement, innovation, and efficiency across businesses and IT ecosystems worldwide.
Convergence is taking place, where and how?
Theoretically speaking, these technologies were meant to converge. Because of their complimentary abilities, they bring out the best in each other when integrated. I mean, look at how mobile tech innovations have given rise to new social applications for mobile devices, making mobile the primary platform for social activities. At the same time, cloud services are offering cost-effective mobile and social solutions like extra storage space, security, and computing services.
Benefits of convergence
The convergence of social, mobile, big data, and cloud tech comes with a set of benefits that include:
Opening up new avenues for reaching customers
Today’s customers want engagement through their preferred channels. With mobile devices becoming ubiquitous, it has become imperative for businesses to enable customers to carry out key processes such as buying, making payments, registering themselves for services etc. over their mobile devices. Again, adopting cloud innovations are allowing businesses to offer new ways of catering to the needs of their customers.
Gaining better customer insight and customer care
Social media interactions offer an in-depth view of customer behaviour, preferences, and their purchase patterns etc. – all kinds of information that help businesses know their customers better. In fact, customer care moves to a whole new level by allowing business to address customer questions on social media, sometimes in real time. It helps businesses serve their customers better, but also helps businesses build a brand community around their social interactions.
Making new innovations happen
As mobile devices push forward with innovative features from range of sensors, to microphones and cameras, they have increased the ability to capture user contexts such as location, weather, biometrics (heartbeat, pulse rate etc.), or current activities. The knowledge has enabled the development of innovations such as biometric recognition systems to avoid phone theft, and voice-enabled applications just to name two. As convergence gains momentum, so will the innovations.
Paving way for better collaboration
We know that social media is a great channel for customer interactions. It also offers businesses great insight into mind of its customers. Cloud solutions like unified communications and video conferencing offer better workspace collaboration. Social CRM is one tool that has grown from the popular model of social media. Social tools, like Social CRM, have emerged as the enterprise-grade solution for fostering better communication and collaboration within the framework of an organization. Mobile, Data and Cloud make every one of these solutions infinietely more accessible all while helping businesses better understand how they are utilized to measure and predict outcomes.
Embracing social, mobile, and cloud computing has been transforming businesses and organizations by improving their levels of customer engagement, helping build new partnerships, and offering a competitive edge. While they have proven benefits when used alone, converging these streams can maximize the business benefits in more ways than one. The sky is the limit when these technologies converge and we can’t wait to watch it happen.
Daniel Newman is the Principal Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of Broadsuite Media Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. From Big Data to IoT to Cloud Computing, Newman makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology projects, which leads to his ideas regularly being cited in CIO.Com, CIO Review and hundreds of other sites across the world. A 5x Best Selling Author including his most recent “Building Dragons: Digital Transformation in the Experience Economy,” Daniel is also a Forbes, Entrepreneur and Huffington Post Contributor. MBA and Graduate Adjunct Professor, Daniel Newman is a Chicago Native and his speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.