How to Design Delightful Experiences for the Internet of Things

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This post was originally published on BY SERGIO ORTIZ – DESIGNER @ TOPTAL

One of the next technological revolutions on the horizon is the emerging platform of the Internet of Things (IoT). The core of its promise is a world where household appliances, cars, trucks, trains, clothes, medical devices and, much more would be connected to the internet via smart sensors capable of sensing and sharing information.

As its presence in our lives grows, the Internet of Things (IoT) will be fundamental to most things we see, touch, and experience—UX design will play an important, if not essential, role in that advancement.

From healthcare to transportation—from retail to industrial applications, companies are constantly searching for new ideas and solutions in order to create new experiences, deliver greater value to customers, and make people’s lives easier and more efficient.

If you think you don’t know what IoT is, you’ve probably already experienced it and just didn’t realize what it was. Home automation hubs like Google’s Home and Amazon’s Alexa, the Nest Learning Thermostat, Philips Hue lightbulbs, Samsung SmartThings, Amazon Go, and fridges that monitor their contents all fall into the IoT category.

Flo, smart residential water systems that monitor water efficiency, leaks, and waste

The next wave of IoT will connect millions of devices across the globe and make homes, cities, transportation, and factories smarter and more efficient. Real-time data produced by hundreds of IoT sensors will change the way businesses operate and how we see the world.

The skills needed in this new paradigm will shift from component thinking to whole systems thinking; from one screen to multiple touch-points. Most IoT systems will be connected to an app, but this will eventually evolve into a multi-interface world, some of it yet to be invented.

Designers must adapt to new technologies and paradigms or risk becoming irrelevant. Experiences that we design for are shifting dramatically—think AI, VR, AR, MR, IoT, and any combination thereof.

Utilizing live streaming data collected from millions of sensors, designers will be tasked with crafting experiences turning that data into something useful via an interface (a mobile app, smart TV, smart mirror, smartwatch, or car dashboard).

There will be huge opportunities for designers in the industrial Internet of Things. Organizations of all types and industries are investing heavily in this space, making IoT growth projections astronomical—to the tune of 50 billion connected devices by 2020.

Graphic by Clarice Technologies

IoT Is Already Here

An example of an IoT ecosystem available today is an internet connected doorbell that has a video camera, speaker, microphone, and motion sensor. When a visitor either rings the doorbell or comes near the front door, the owner receives a notification on their mobile via the app. The owner is able to communicate with the visitor via the speaker and microphone; they can let the visitor in via a remote controlled door lock or instruct a delivery person to leave the package somewhere safe.

SkyBell is a smart video doorbell that allows you to see, hear, and speak to the visitor at your door whether you’re at home,
at work, or on the go.

Another example is Nanit—a connected baby monitor with computer vision. It has real-time HD video with night vision, plus temperature and humidity sensors. It’s app gives you access to recorded and live HD video streams and smart notifications.

The IoT baby monitor Nanit

Implications for UX Design

These new experiences will require new modes of interaction—modalities, yet to be designed. Touch will evolve and expand. Gestures and physical body motion will become a more natural way of interacting with the digital world around us.

The IoT space is ready for exploration and designers need to investigate the potential human interaction models, how to design for them and find ways to unlock value. The focus will no longer be on singular experiences, but instead those that represent a broader ecosystem.

The Myo armband

Designers will become involved during every stage of the design process as it will become more about designing the entire product experience.

They will need to share creative authority during the whole development cycle and effectively influence the outcome of the end product, working in collaboration with an industrial designer—for example, on what that IoT doorbell looks like, how it works, the video and sound between the two parties, and the unlocking and locking of the door.

Five Critical Aspects for Designers to Consider in the IoT Era

1) Prepare for Evolving User Interactions

Google Home connects seamlessly with smart IoT devices so you can use voice to set the perfect temperature or turn down the lights.

Just as touchscreens introduced the pinch, finger scroll, and swipe, we’ll soon be introducing other ways of interacting with IoT systems. We can expect that hand gestures will continue to be used, but we’ll begin to see even more natural movements, such as tiny finger movements, as options for controlling devices in our environment.

Google is already preparing for a future where hand and finger movements will control things in our environment. Its Project Soli is an interaction sensor that uses radar for motion tracking of the human hand.

Radar-sensed hand and finger tracking (Google’s Project Soli)

IoT will no doubt be integrated with VR. With VR, our movements mimic those of the real world. Moving our heads up, down and around allows us to explore the VR world in a natural way. We’ll be able to control our environment through commonly used arm, hand, and finger movements.

Merging the VR experience with IoT opens up many new possibilities. Imagine an Amazon Go VR version—a self-serve grocery store in a VR world where a customer “walks in” and collects items into their virtual shopping cart by picking up their choices from the store shelves with natural hand movements.

For designers, feedback and confirmation are important considerations in this new paradigm as are many of the 10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design. Many of these “rules of thumb” will live on:

  • Visibility of system status
  • Match between the system and the real world
  • User control and freedom
  • Consistency and standards
  • Flexibility and efficiency of use
  • Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors

Voice will play a huge role. Even the act of walking will dictate some level of control. As these new controls get more refined and are adopted by users, they will become the standard by which we interact in this space, whether a screen is present or not.

Using Amazon Alexa is as simple as asking a question. Just ask to play music, read the news, control your smart home, call a car.

What about other tactile, sensory or emotive inputs? How will emotions and physiology apply to this space? Designers must get ahead of this new paradigm or risk being left behind.

2) Rethink and Adapt to Interactions of the Future

It’s safe to say that, for example, things like the ‘menu’ in a user interface will in some shape or form always be a part of the experience. And just as we saw the introduction of the hamburger menu once mobile became ubiquitous, we’ll need to explore its evolution (or something similar) more extensively within IoT environments.

You need look no further than wearables like Samsung’s Gear S3 Watch to see how menu controls might evolve.

As we create the UIs of the future and new modes of interaction, we’ll need to make sure we keep in mind the users’ expectations. Designers will still need to follow usability and interaction standards, conventions, and best practices. By evolving from what is already known, the potential of new technologies can be harnessed—innovative UIs can be designed while still maintaining enough familiarity for them to be usable.

In the not-too-distant future, our daily lives will be imbued by micro-interactions as we move from device to device and UI to UI. There will not be just one, but many interfaces to interact with in a multitude of ways as people move through their day. An interaction may begin at home on a smart mirror, continue on a smartwatch down the street and on a mobile in a taxi, and then finish on a desktop at work. Continuity and consistency will play an important part.

As IoT continues to grow and evolve, we’ll encounter never-before-seen devices, new methods of interaction, and many varieties of associated UI. Those of us who design in these new environments will need to strike the right balance between the familiar and the new.

3) Design Contextual Experiences

IoT will achieve mass adoption by consumers and businesses when products are easily understood, affordable, and seamlessly integrated into their lives. This means we need to expand beyond personalization, and begin to infuse context into the experience.

Designing for context has the potential to permeate experiences, making them more meaningful and valuable.

As we design contextual, holistic experiences that will harness the power of IoT, we need to understand that being inconspicuous, far from being a bad thing, may be the goal. When the IoT product knows you, knows where you are, and knows what you need, it will only make itself present as needed. Things will adapt to people, and before we know it, become fully integrated into their daily lives.

As we design UIs for this new paradigm, we’ll need to understand that the human-computer interaction will be dynamic and contextual—and it will change constantly. At times we’ll need to allow for controls, while at others the systems will simply relay data with notifications that are useful in that moment. Each view will be intelligently displayed in the context of that very moment via the most appropriate channel and device. This contextual design would be micro-interaction driven, timely, and purposeful.

4) Design Anticipatory Experiences

One of the most promising characteristics of IoT is the ability to predict and adapt to situations. The old model of singular actions driving singular reactions is evolving at a rapid pace.

It’s going to be more about the output without much need for input.

“Magical experiences” will be born out of awesome combinations of AI, machine learning, computer vision, sensor fusion, augmented reality, virtual reality, IoT, and anticipatory design. Rumor has it, Apple is investing heavily into AR.

We will be surrounded by a growing number of intelligent IoT systems that will automatically do things for us in a predictive manner. For example, after using it a few times, the Nest learns our habits and adjusts intelligently without us needing to get involved.

We’ll begin to see systems that will become increasingly predictive. A simple gesture, movement, or word will initiate a series of useful events. There will be a chain of events that aren’t initiated by people at all, because the system will learn and optimize its actions based on a treasure trove of data. These events could be initiated by a person’s proximity, the time of day, environmental conditions (such as light, humidity, temperature, etc.), and previous behavioral data.

More than ever, deep user research will play an important role in designing experiences that are anticipatory and contextual. Defining personas, observing user behaviors, and empathy mapping—just to name a few UX techniques—will become crucial in crafting sophisticated user experiences that will feel almost “magical” to people.

5) Most Importantly, Make It Useful!

We’re seeing tremendous advancements in the field of IoT and the role that design will play in it is about empowering people in ways that were not possible before. The demand for deeply satisfying, quality experiences will increase with high expectations and standards.

While all of the above is important, we must never lose sight of the fact that it’s about making people’s lives easier. Designing “moments of delightful surprise” in this new paradigm—along with deep empathy for the user—is a skill designers will need to develop. As we look towards an even more connected digital future, connecting us to “intelligent things” in meaningful ways will allow for more efficient interaction, more productivity and, hopefully, happier lives.

Designers will need to design IoT-driven experiences that are contextual, helpful, and meaningful—optimized for people, not technologies.

“Experiences” will trump “things.”

The next step is for designers to become involved, and design the most seamless user experiences for the Internet of Things. Technologies must evolve into “optimizers of our lives.”

In other words, become useful for people.

This post was originally published on BY SERGIO ORTIZ – DESIGNER @ TOPTAL

The New Wave of Entrepreneurship

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There is a multi-trillion dollar economy opening up to technology faster than ever. It has been driven by trends that have changed the nature of how entrepreneurs will be characterized going forward; specifically, industry executives will be the next wave of in-demand startup CEOs.

In April of 2007, Apple changed everything with the launch of the iPhone. It is hard to imagine that it has only been 8 years since the release of the first truly pervasive smartphone, but there is no denying its impact has been world-changing. Beyond the creation of a new dimension of industry-driven, by location-based, services (and with it, a myriad of billion dollar companies), an equally significant phenomenon emerged. By creating technology that was intuitive to the consumer masses, every person around the world started to embrace technology as more than just a work tool. Lawyers, doctors, car mechanics and people from every sector of the economy not only had a tool for productivity, but a piece of technology in their pocket they embraced as an intimate part of their lives.

Furthermore, these new consumers could now point to a standard for usable technology. Cumbersome, enterprise legal software that won’t allow a lawyer to search cases from outside the office is no longer acceptable. For those outside of the Silicon Valley silo, conversations can be heard from construction workers sitting on a lunch break saying “Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an app to …”.  Unfortunately, these conversations are often too far away from Silicon Valley’s ears, which are still dominated by the talk of what will be the next WhatsApp or Instagram. Even so, a new breed of entrepreneur is emerging who see firsthand the challenges in their industry, and with that the opportunity to make a world-changing impact, and these entrepreneurs do not fit the founder archetype that many Silicon Valley investors look for.

Photos from,,, and

Previous decades saw similar shifts in entrepreneur characterizations. The late 90s were about Harvard MBAs applying traditional management techniques to leverage brand new Internet technologies. The “aughts” brought on the “22 year-old Stanford Computer Science” graduate applying technology to a low hanging industry. Now, in this decade, we are seeing a new wave of entrepreneurship driven by industry executives with deep product backgrounds leveraging technology to disrupt a traditionally non-tech industry.

For the past 2 years I’ve had the opportunity to see this shift firsthand as the managing partner of Silicon Valley Software Group (SVSG), a firm of CTOs focused on helping companies with their technology strategy. SVSG has seen entrepreneurs ranging from movie producers, lead singers of platinum album rock bands, travel executives, and hedge fund managers all trying to figure out how to leverage their domain expertise through technology. After a number of similar engagements, a few observations have emerged:

In each venture, a product-focused entrepreneur saw the adoption of the technology among their peers in a particular industry and, with that, the opportunity to create a product focused on that industry.
None of these entrepreneurs had notable tech experience.
Hardly ANY of these high profile individuals had relevant connections with the Silicon Valley community.
This last observation is of particular importance!

The combination of growth capital, multidisciplinary talent, and mentors sharing best practices around how to create hyper-growth businesses are often taken for granted by those who are part of the ecosystem. However, the disconnect between Silicon Valley natives and outsiders is shocking. Many of the companies SVSG have come across have no ability to raise strategic capital at first because their businesses are too risky when considering common pitfalls they are more likely to fall into compared with their Valley peers. Concepts as commonplace as the lean startup methodology are welcomed as sage insight to these new entrepreneurs.

What is missing for these new founders is a bridge into Silicon Valley. To date, this has been stymied by a narrow mindset from the Silicon Valley community. However, the forces of capitalism will eventually prevail and these new entrepreneurs will find their own community to center around. Keen investors will lead the herd and take advantage of existing markets ripe for change. Incubators and accelerators will emerge with a focus on entrepreneurs with deep industry experience. We are in a tech boom right now and there are countless ways to apply technology to industries that haven’t changed in decades. For those sitting in the corner office, the time has come to venture out, there are markets to disrupt.

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Virtualization and its Impact

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ContentFlo shares perspectives and insights that matter to enterprises in the digital economy.
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As across companies, in ICT departments, it is possible to hear more and more talks about virtualization let’s define this term. ‘Virtualization’ is the possibility to create virtual components by abstracting from hardware components.

There are many types of virtualization. The most important kind of virtualization, that enable a deep change in the ICT services methodology of distribution, can be divided into 3 categories: Network Virtualization, Server Virtualization and Desktop Virtualization. What are the benefits of different virtualization types?

Network Virtualization: allows to create, add and divide networks in a simple and dynamic way, by removing switch and router dependency. Physical network devices become channels in which network logics are totally managed by software components. It simplifies company network change without a need to touch the wiring.

Server Virtualization: allows to create virtual machines to execute various software needed for company business development. Singular features on specific machines can be quickly isolated. For example, inbox server can be executed on a different machine from the management software and thanks to that increase protection in case of malware. These could operate just on a single service and not on the whole company domain. The unique console for virtual machines management decreases complexity in adding new resources, simplifies backups and reduces maintenance times. Furthermore, the most modern management consoles help troubleshooting by informing an ICT Manager before they could be perceived by the user. Finally, Server Virtualization has been one of the enabling technologies to what we call today Cloud Computing.

Desktop Virtualization: provides the possibility to centralize resources available to every user. Adding new workstations will not require to buy new devices, optimizing in this way hardware resources already available in the company. Besides, this technology enables company mobility, which will be always more widespread: every user will find all his resources available, independently from where he will connect and without invalidate company needs about security and data protection. It also enables the use of thin clients, which can provide the same experience as a traditional PC however with significantly reduced energy cost.

As it always happens with introducing change many people are reluctant or fear it. The main fears are connected to the initial costs of introducing virtualization. It might not be a piece of cake to calculate the overall costs, nevertheless, I can guarantee that the return on investment will positively surprise you. Both in terms of hours spend on the system maintenance and money save by your company.

Another fear regards the lack of competence to start a virtualization project. Becoming experts in this area require years of experience. Nevertheless, with the great dissemination of these systems, management consoles for virtualization became easily manageable also for beginners. Another advantage is that on the internet, there are many websites with the best practices regarding how to start a virtualization project, many of them provided by the main VDI players.

Moreover, it is a common thought that the switch from a traditional ICT system to a virtual one would require a service downtime, nothing could be more wrong. Thanks to the flexibility of a virtualized system features, it is possible to recreate a test ambient in which to reproduce all company workflows and send the system to production only when everything works and everyone is satisfied.

Therefore, there are no more reasons why virtualization could frighten someone. It is a widespread technology that allows companies to be ready and responsive to the new market, by drastically reducing the costs of future operations. In the next years it will make on-site maintenance disappear.

Guest post by Nicola Manica:  Nicola is an African rover and open source nerd with main interest in operating systems with a predilection for time constraint systems. He received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in Computer and the Ph.D. degree from the International Graduate School in Information and Communication Technologies, University of Trento, Italy. Currently he works in Praim,
where you can find more of his articles.

How Carbon + Silicon = Digital 2.0

Mark Ware
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Mark Ware

Mark Ware is a thought leader and global senior sales and marketing executive who motivates sales and marketing teams, aggressively collaborates across the matrix and produces new sources of revenue.
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Did you see this? It’s a great ad from Walmart (@walmart) about the life most of us lead –– and coming from the voice of a very digital-savvy little girl regarding her family’s new Walmart internet connection and phone: “Now we can pin, post, tweet, snag, tag and share!” she exclaims.

As B2B marketers, we think of the platforms, the technology, the big [and small] data, metrics and ; we strive for improved ROI, more visibility and higher levels of interaction. In many ways, we’re just like the little girl in the Walmart ad! (It’s okay to admit it… 🙂 ).

But what about the expectations of the user we’re targeting and hoping to engage? Least we forget: these “carbon-based” units also have ideas regarding what the digital experience should be about: THEM –– the end user, the prospect, the browser, the client. Carbon-based means People, people. Digital too often for us marketers is all about the wizardry under the hood — the silicon, software and network connections that make it all possible for social media, sharing, connectedness, etc. But maybe we need more social in our digital marketing and go way beyond video, apps, web pages and chat boxes; maybe we need to revisit some basics in relationship formation. Maybe we should remind ourselves to take a second look at the idea of how these “carbon-based” units we’re targeting are expecting to specifically benefit from our digital marketing activities.

Think about your B2B digital marketing –– your website, your apps, your social platforms, your email campaigns and answer the questions below that many of your target audience are likely asking:

  • What can I do with your platform?
  • Why would I engage you?
  • What’s in it for me?
  • Is there fun?
  • Will I be happier?
  • Will I have more time?
  • Will I become even more addicted to my phone/tablet/desktop?
  • Will I learn something new and useful that will inspire me or empower me?
  • Why would you expect me to engage with you?
  • What are my expectations and how will you exceed them?
  • After experiencing your “digital” disruption, will I be annoyed, euphoric, bored or inspired? Will I feel used and discarded as your latest piece of digital “score” or will you remember me, call me by name, help me to expand my areas of interest, and gain new insights previously not even available to me until I connected with you — one carbon unit to another over a digital tapestry of silicon, copper and glass?

Okay, maybe that last one was a wee bit dramatic, but you get the idea. As digital marketers, we think of our message, our positioning, how we can be effectively disruptive and how we can get the users’ attention to interact with us. But it’s nearly always a selfish me-centered (that is, marketers’) approach. By thinking first of what our users may seek and perhaps highly prefer, we can become much more effective; for example, consider these typical in-person experiences:

  • Share a genuine smile
  • Leverage tone of voice /laughter dynamically
  • Present a firm and welcoming handshake
  • Look into the eyes
  • Share a joke
  • Share a warm embrace
  • Use first names without sounding like a form letter
  • Ask another question (not on the survey) and engage more deeply an idea or question
  • Express personal sincerity
  • Convey touching appreciation

How well does your digital marketing capture the above in-person experiences? Does it matter? Yeah, it does. That is, if you want to be personal, desired, sought out and valued.

Is carbon the new digital in our silicon-saturated world? Perhaps not. Should we drop digital marketing altogether? No. But carbon + silicon just may be the digital 2.0 many have been seeking. A more person-centric approach to disruption, interaction and relationship forming. By better understanding what people really want from each of our proposed personal interactions and disruptions, that understanding will help drive a revolution in how we market –– and IN how we craft our messages and ultimately, build brand.

SMAC: Enabling Business Paradigms of the 21st Century

Alok Ranjan
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Alok Ranjan

Alok Ranjan is a marketing specialist and management consultant based in Mumbai, India. He believes, brands are caught in a maze of technology and economic dynamics, caused by disruptive forces, which are changing the way consumers interact with brands. He blogs at
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If you stand still, you fall behind.
Mark Twain

Agility, adaptability, and innovation are lifeline for success of enterprises in the 21st century. From having shutters down at the ‘Kodak Moment’ for the 130-year-old George Eastman’s Kodak to closing the curtains on many traditional business paradigms belabor that enterprises of the 21st century need to continually adapt their business models to survive the onslaught propelled by technology. Social, mobility, analytics, and cloud (SMAC) are convergent forces forcing enterprises to innovate and be agile and creative to survive in the race for existence. The rise of disruptive firms has challenged the existence of traditional businesses and created economic uncertainty loom over conventional business paradigms. Welcome to the digital era, powered by SMAC, where customer engagement and business model adaptations are top priority for enterprises to hold their ground.

The Internet serves as a backbone to disruptive technology firms (firms that challenge the status quo in the technology market and influence their competitors) and these firms are vehemently challenging the hegemony of traditional businesses in the recent past. In 2013, acquired a 100-year-old newspaper Washington Post for $250 million as they lacked innovative and adaptive business model to thrive in the digital era. Numerous innovative products have flooded the market to engage with customers right in their bedroom and are forcing enterprises to either evolve or extinct, in this century. Let us focus on how SMAC is enabling enterprises to challenge traditional behemoths and driving customer value to the last mile.

Enabling New Business Paradigms

The rise of SMAC as a nexus of force has equipped disruptive enterprises to strengthen their technological innovation capabilities. Siemens is busy developing batteries and wind technologies that will increase Germany’s reliance on renewal power in future. Tablets and the smartphone can control, Philips innovative new bulb. Safaricom challenges traditional banking through its widely acclaimed mobile currency M-Pesa in Kenya. Vidyo, a technology firm poses challenge to giants like Cisco with the launch of high-definition video conferencing on smartphone. These use cases establish that social, mobility, analytics and cloud (SMAC) is the new normal and enterprises need to adapt their business models to succeed in this dynamic marketplace. Traditional behemoths have gradually become restless for existence. The tide has shifted from established to innovative firms. Forward-looking enterprises have engulfed traditional businesses and pushed them towards bankruptcy. Some of the leading business models which failed against disruptive firms are:

Blockbuster – Movie rental – Failed against Netflix, YouTube
Kodak – Photography – Failed against Flickr, Smartphone proliferation
Border – Book retailer – Failed against
HVM – Music retailer – Failed against Apple iTunes, Spotify

Enabling Customer engagement models

Customers are at the core of activity on social, mobility, analytics and cloud (SMAC). Disruptive firms center their business strategies around user activity on social media sites, mobility, analysis of the collated information through advanced analytical tools like Hadoop, NoSQL and Splunk etc. Just off the pan, acquisition of our time where Facebook acquired another disruptive technology firm Whatsapp for $19 billion is driven to get hold of 450 million users of Whatsapp. It is worth to note that every day Whatsapp registers more than 1 million users globally and will hit a billion in a year. An enterprise does not need anything more than just monetize the registration for a few dollars to keep this business model profitable. Firms like Facebook, Amazon, and Google are pioneers that have recognized every opportunity to reach their customers through multiple avenues.

Social – In less than a decade social networking sites have made significant impact on the marketing needs of traditional enterprises. Constant flow of information through likes, follow, post, video, check-ins, images, etc., have created a web of information to understand the needs of each customer individually. Brands are busy customizing their marketing strategy everyday to satiate the needs of their interconnected consumers. Recently, Virgin America pioneered with the launch of its in-flight social networking app, Here on biz, to be accessed at the height of 35,000 ft. This app works by isolating the geo-location and unique IP of each Virgin America plane in the sky. Guests can connect with their fellow passengers, travelers on other Virgin America flight and guests at their destination airport, via the LinkedIn API. With this, Virgin America’s consumer engagement strategy leapfrog by empowering travelers to experience interconnectedness and initiate discussions. This also transforms the way a business traveler hunt for leads in the near future.

Mobility – The proliferation of enterprise network applications on mobile handsets has removed the barriers between remote and real workstation. According to a survey by CISCO, the number of Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD) devices will exceed 405 million in 6 major economies, including the US, the UK, India, Brazil, China, and Germany. BYOD is also helping improve employee productivity by 81 minutes per week in the US. Realizing the potential of going mobile, Irvine, CA based firm Tacobell is launching a smartphone app to aid their consumers through mobile ordering and payment processing through credit card or gift card. When the user enters a restaurant to pick up the order, the GPS locator notifies the kitchen when to estimate the customer’s arrival. In case the customer finds a long queue at the drive through, Taco bell will have in-store counter for mobile purchases to ease quick order fulfillment. Brands are busy strategizing consumer engagement processes with the help of technological opportunities offered by SMAC in the 21st century.

Analytics – “In their book, Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, And Think, authors Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier explain that the digital deluge on the globe is the tantamount to giving every human being on Earth 320 times as much information as is estimated to be stored in the Library of Alexandria (in the 3rd century B.C. Ptolemy II of Egypt is believed to store every written transcripts existing on earth.)” The proliferation of data is the beginning of a major economic transformation in the 21st century. Enterprises analyze the data from all sources, including social, mobile, and offline to understand their consumer behavior and targets them with a specific offering. Big data are helping enterprises to understand the relation between available pieces of information, which were beyond our comprehensive earlier. Leading online firms like Amazon, Netflix, Pandora and (online dating site) use analytics to recommend products, and services as per customer preferences.

Cloud – Cloud computing provides the scalability and agility to future proof enterprise business transactions. It provides startups and SMEs an advantage to compete against traditional enterprises. IDC predicts that public cloud services revenue will grow by 27% year-on –year until 2016 while private cloud services revenue will grow at 50% year-on-year until 2016. Internet giants such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon claim the success of their business models over the cloud. The cloud provides an opportunity for disruptive startups like KickstarterCoursera to go global and compete against business giants. At the core of SMAC, cloud helps enterprises engage with their consumers in their bedroom. Netflix and YouTube video streaming services are successful enterprises operating in a cloud as part of their business model. It is worth to note that Netflix and pushed movie rental service provider Blockbuster and a large format retailer WestWild in Germany out of business.

Social, mobility, analytics and cloud (SMAC) has transformed the business model of many leading enterprises and is continually driving innovation for the global good. Let me know your thoughts on how SMAC will transform enterprise business models and drive consumer engagement in the near future.