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What happens when you combine the hottest buzzwords in technology together? Innovation at intersection!! Yes, we all know the latest trends in IT industry, the emergence of new start-ups, and that IT spending is governed by three terms - Social, Mobile and Cloud (SoMoClo). These three trends together are now giving answers to unique client requirements.
SoMoClo was a concept initiated by Aberdeen Group around three years back. Since then several start-ups have been launched in this space and interesting solutions have been developed.
Social+Mobile+Cloud is a confluence of three technological trends and poses new frontiers for clients. Take for instance, a retailer who wants to reach its new customers through mobile loyalty coupons and depending on how a group of friends buy or recommend products, wants to target specific loyalty coupons to their mobiles. As this solution needs a low cost and effective means of deploying the technological solution, cloud hosting or loyalty program available as a service on cloud would be the cheapest option. Here the retailer needs a solution which is Cloud hosted, mobile delivered and contextually driven from social groups.
I recently, read in some newspapers in London, that recycle bins can connect through wifi to the phones of people passing by and target them special offers and discounts. Now this solution if cloud hosted then it is a perfect example of SoMoClo.
SoMoClo does not solve all IT problems but some of the parts can solve some issues that could be answers to some deeper problems. Contextually Aware Applications have been around for some time and several analytical tools to generate meaningful analysis for corporations have exploited social networks. Combine it with a mobile and we can find out why based on the patterns of calls made by users in a group they are potentially to churn to another service provider. Cloud in itself has emerged as a low cost solution for small and medium businesses that do not want to invest in storage and networking infrastructure. Combine cloud with mobile and we have several mobile application vendors accessing mobile development tools on the cloud and even performing testing on the mobile cloud solutions. However, SoMoClo together makes it possible to have ‘systems of engagement’ rather than have systems of records.
Machine-2-Machine (M2M) aka Internet of Things is one area where SoMoClo solutions make a lot of sense. As billions of things get inter-connected the need to have these solutions on the cloud cannot be underestimated. The data coming from each thing is small in size but is highly frequent. For example: 10 readings emitted in 30 minutes. The need of a cloud solution in this space from storage and accessibility perspective is high. Workload needs to be maintained across millions of devices. Several customers can access the same cloud hosted multi-tenanted M2M solution to monitor and manage data from their own set of devices Also, multiple M2M applications can be hosted on the same cloud infrastructure with single customer accessing all the applications based on access control. A cloud solution necessitates that the M2M application will be scalable, can manage the elasticity in volumes required at times and does metering for each user based on data received from things. Now the alerts and priority events would be needed on the mobile. For instance, I want alerts on my mobile when my car is speeding beyond a limit or alerts regarding weather. Hence, there is a need of a mobile delivered cloud solution.
The M2M application needs to be mobile enabled in a way that Application Programming Interface (API) of the application can be integrated with the application on the consumers’ phone. The user can also get on his mobile the outages which have happened in his house over a period of one month. Going forward, the mobile user can use controls on his mobile to switch off or on the devices in the house. Similarly, the Contextual Awareness of my car with respect to its location can bring lot of meaning to the alerts I am receiving. I might want to switch off a device in my house, as I am aware through social networks that my son is not in the house but playing outside.
Opportunities of creating solutions in SoMoClo are immense and organizations are slowly discovering that power they can achieve by combining these trends. There has also been a trend to combine Data with this and a SoMoCloDa term has been coined as huge amount of data is generated by billions of devices and the amount of value derived from analytics is limitless. Some say ‘its old wine in new bottle’ but I would say, “it gives you a cheaper solution (through cloud, on an access channel you cannot afford to ignore (mobile) and gives deeper insights (through social) and produce better customer loyalty.” then why not jump into the bandwagon?
So, the next time when you switch off your washing machine remotely from your office, you can be elated that you have used SoMoClo and its no more a mosaic term!!!
Shalini Kapoor is Chief Architect for M2M development at India Software Labs, IBM India
Disclaimer: "The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions."