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Virtualization Authors: Liz McMillan, Kevin Benedict, Shelly Palmer, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski

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M2M, Social and Enterprise Mobility Strategies and Trends

Just about every 2013 analyst report I have read this month identifies social, mobile, the Internet of Things and analytics as the big trends.  These trends, often called SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud), are dramatically changing the way businesses operate.  Here is a description of the wide ranging impact of some of these, "Machine-to-machine-to-human connectivity will have a profound impact on the consumer and home experience, as well as transportation systems, retail, industrial supply chains, energy grids, security and public safety," writes Malcolm Frank, EVP of Strategy and Marketing at Cognizant Technology Services.

One of the many challenges SMAC presents is that it can dramatically increase the amount of data your enterprise needs to manage.  This challenge has motivated the folks from Gartner to highlight business intelligence and analytics as the current number-one priority for corporate IT.
I am a firm believer that company's need to have an overall strategy when trying to absorb all of these new ideas, innovations and technologies.  One very good place to start is to have a Network Centric Operational view in order to effectively manage and embrace these trends.  Here is how Wikipedia describes it - Network Centric Operations seek to translate an information advantage, enabled in part by information technology, into a competitive advantage through the robust networking [read mobile and social technologies] of well informed geographically dispersed groups.  This networking—combined with changes in technology, organization, processes, and people—may allow new forms of organizational behavior.

I believe the "new forms" of organizational behavior are being accelerated by social collaboration among the mobile, connected and well informed.

Specifically, the theory [Network Centric Operations] contains the following four tenets in its hypotheses:
  1. A robustly networked organization improves information sharing.
  2. Information sharing enhances the quality of information and shared situational awareness.
  3. Shared situational awareness enables collaboration and self-synchronization, and enhances sustainability and speed of decision making and execution.
  4. These three points dramatically increase operational effectiveness.
Over the past year I have traveled the world sharing mobile and SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud) strategies and have had dozens of discussions with executive teams.  As a result of these discussions, I have come to appreciate the value of having a concept/strategy in place first to serve as a conceptual framework for how to understand the ways new technologies can and should be used to further business goals.
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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for SMAC, Cognizant
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Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

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Kevin Benedict is the Senior Analyst for Digital Transformation at Cognizant, a writer, speaker and SAP Mentor Alumnus. Follow him on Twitter @krbenedict. He is a popular speaker around the world on the topic of digital transformation and enterprise mobility. He maintains a busy schedule researching, writing and speaking at events in North America, Asia and Europe. He has over 25 years of experience working in the enterprise IT solutions industry.