News / SMAC: The gap between aspiration and reality
By Neeraj Pandey, Sep 07, 2015

We all know that SMAC is acronym for “Social”, “Mobile”, “Analytics” and “Cloud”. But have you ever wondered how and when did the word SMAC came into existence? Late in the year 2011, Cognizant coined the word “SMAC” during a business conference. Since then, the word has grabbed global attention and is now widely being used as standard acronym across industry.

“SMAC” has gained tremendous popularity in recent past, not only because of emergence of new business needs but also because of continuous enhancements of disruptive technologies that makes SMAC implementation a possibility.

Going by continuous enhancements of disruptive technologies, current generation of CXOs are looking at significant shift in the way they want to manage their business information.

This is resulting in implementation of self-service technologies that allows business users to get more control over their information needs – which can be made possible by usage of SMAC-based solutions.

Driven by its ability to offer solutions that integrate new business models on top of SMAC components, SMAC based revenues are expected to have exponential growth in coming years. At present, SMAC technologies account for less than 10% of the total revenue of Indian IT companies, but Indian IT vendors will generate at least $225 billion in SMAC-related revenue by 2020, according to IDC research estimates.

SMAC-based revenue growth will be driven by use cases that organizations and their management are willing to adopt. With continuous evolution of Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud technologies, there are multiple SMAC use case that can be leveraged to meet business needs.

A simple use case could be “Willingness of Telecom service provider to analyze their consumer insights for offering custom based services – on the go”. This will possibly help Telecom provider minimize their churn and maximize their revenue. To achieve this, Telecom provider must capture and analyze consumer social data (coming from their tweets, feeds, blogs etc.), mine them to depict consumer behavior, build custom based offers meeting specific needs and send them to their consumer’s smartphone for consumption.

Here, Social is used to capture customer’s data, Cloud is used to store and process consumer data, Analytics is used to infer customer’s interest and Mobility is used as a channel to provide them with custom based services. In doing so, Telecom provides solve their business problem of retaining the customer (hence reducing the customer churn), and meet their business needs of generating higher revenues by selling their customized product.

While certain elements of SMAC could possibly be over-hyped or can be seen as re-classifications of traditional service lines, they also present an attractive opportunity for IT service providers over the next few years.

Though most of software vendors are betting on SMAC space to help them generate more business, analysts believe it will require more than simple steps to translate the expectations into business.

Consolidating and analyzing social data and integrating them with mobile devices using cloud storage has their own set of challenge – including data security and threat. Also, analysis of unstructured and voluminous data coming from various social feed has their own set of limitations.

Moreover, infrastructure and resource investment to accomplish SMAC-based business needs possesses another set of challenges.


Analysts and industry captains agree that SMAC will continue to evolve before it can attain a maturity level to encapsulate business and technology for solving business problems. SMAC is not only the part of innovative propositions but also underpins the service delivery at large.

The author is AVP, Infinite Computer Solutions

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