Embracing the big three disruptive technologies - cloud, social media and mobile - in an integrated fashion is the way forward-thinking business should approach them.
The biggest disruptive technologies changing the face of business today are cloud, social media, and mobile. Gartner is calling the three part of 'a Nexus of converging forces' - social, mobile, cloud and information - which is building upon and transforming user behaviour while creating new business opportunities.
Recent research predicts that by 2014 'all smartphones will transparently synchronise local data with at least one cloud service', 'most organisations will deliver mobile applications to workers through private application stores' and 'social networking will replace email as the primary vehicle for interpersonal communications for 20% of business users'. These forecasts are a force that cannot be ignored.
Embracing the 'big three' disruptive technologies - cloud, social media and mobility - in an integrated fashion is the way forward-thinking business should approach them.
Tackle them together
Here at Zensar, our experience with these customers has made it clear that the most effective way to incorporate cloud, social media and mobility into an IT strategy is to tackle them all together in an integrated and complementary way.
We have dubbed the three technologies CloSoMo, and as we are committed to maximising CloSoMo for our customers we have established a dedicated CloSoMo centre of excellence in Bengaluru, India, to focus solely on these disruptive technologies.
The company sees CloSoMo contributing to over 20% of its growth over the next year, as companies increasingly look to benefiting from the efficiencies, cost savings, improved information and customer experience they can deliver.
How companies leverage these technologies will change the market and define new leaders in industry.
The future of collaboration lies in the convergence of cloud, social and mobile. These disruptive technologies are increasingly being integrated with each other - cloud with mobile, mobile with social media, and social media with 'big data' and real-time analytics, and this is evident across industries.
Don't view the technologies as being in silos
With cloud computing having matured and bandwidth improvements making it viable, many local companies have adopted cloud to some extent. Now, they are facing the complexity of adopting and integrating social media and mobility too. These technologies complement and support each-other. Therefore, they should be approached in a unified fashion, not in silos.
All three will feature in IT strategies of the future. Social media cannot be ignored - its benefits range from better customer experience to valuable data, to more effective communications and collaboration within companies
Mobility too, is proving a particularly relevant and effective tool for enterprises across Africa, where many missed the PC era and leapfrogged straight into the mobile era.
In retail, more customers are using smartphones for in store price comparisons, while online sales sites have reported high product recommendations on social networks. In financial services, a growing number of companies are combining mobile application and cloud computing for enriched mobile banking. In healthcare, the percentage of people using a mobile health application is seeing a sharp rise. The use of social platforms by small and medium businesses too is expected to accelerate - especially for marketing.
The next frontier
Mobility solutions are often mistaken with creating a mobile front end to existing applications or building applications for users like games, friends or hotel finders. That is only tip of the ice-berg. Mobility solutions are a going to be major force because these low cost devices provide the power of location, connectivity, information and user profile in an integrated manner. The innovation is going to happen if companies can build applications at the convergence of location, identity and information.
Once we are able to fully integrate the mobile devices into cloud backbone and make it secure with identity or profiling solutions we will reach the next frontier of technology solutions which can create positive impact of human life. Be-smart health applications can allow kids of ageing parents to take care of health from anywhere or smart applications for learning will understand the kid and serve him/her the right information. I believe that it is a world of infinite possibilities that lie at the cusp of Cloud, Social and Mobility and we are going to work with organisations in Africa which are making an attempt to change the life of an individual.
Africa is perfectly placed to embrace CloSoMo, since many enterprises across the continent do not have the weight of legacy systems holding them back.
Now the challenge is to identify what should be migrated to the cloud, how systems should be restructured, what social media and mobility tools will best serve the enterprise's strategic direction, and how they should be integrated into existing systems. By working in tandem with a partner who understands these technologies and best practices for implementing those, enterprises can take themselves to the next level in a competitive landscape.
Harish Lala is VP & Regional Business Head for Africa at Zensar, a specialist IT outsourcing partner, and has 15+ years of experience in IT and BPO services with a focus to help businesses derive benefits from Global Sourcing Models.
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