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Talking SMAC: What's the Next Big Thing?

Feb. 25, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
By ANNETTE RIPPERT   |   Comments
Annette Rippert is a managing director at Accenture Federal Services who leads Accenture's cloud and mobility business.
Annette Rippert is a managing director at Accenture Federal Services who leads Accenture's cloud and mobility business. ()

Just in case you missed it, the next big thing is already here. It’s digital, and it is everywhere.

Every day, we are surrounded by digital technology, such as social media, mobility, analytics, and cloud – otherwise known as SMAC. We rely on it to make our world, literally, tick. The industry analyst firm Gartner recently released its Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends, illuminating how people, places, information and things will all be connected via the Internet relying on cloud, mobility and smart machines. In 2013, Accenture released its Technology Vision, highlighting that “every business is a digital business.” Both emphasize that, in this digital age, technology is intertwined in nearly every aspect of our every day.

What does SMAC mean for those of us working in business and government?

Increasingly we are using technology to connect with our friends, family and community, as well as using it to consume goods and services. That might seem like an obvious statement given that more than 500 million people are now on Facebook. But imagine this … an interactive grocery store that redefines digital shopping. The grocery retailer, Tesco, is well on its way to becoming a truly digital business with more than 20 percent of their online sales now come through smartphones, and 10 percent of all orders from Tesco Direct come through its mobile Web site. Over the years, Tesco’s leaders—IT leaders included—have moved from experimenting with social media, mobile, cloud computing, and analytics toward mastery of those digital domains. Tesco is truly mastering SMAC to customize customer service, while maximizing the new digital economy.

Where it really hit home for me was a recent trip to Disney World in Orlando, Fla. Many of us remember the theme park from our childhoods as an endless sea of lines, as we waited (not so patiently) for that next thrill. Fast forward to the digital age; Disney has transformed the experience by using MagicBands. With these bands, Disney created an entirely new personalized and enriched experience resulting in less wait time for those favorite rides, simple and fast touch-to-pay methods for food and merchandise, while allowing us to make and share plans with family and friends in a travel group – essential in my large family. Disney SMAC truly helped me “experience the magic” making those aching feet worth every step.

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