Small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) are a major source of entrepreneurial skills, innovation and employment. After agriculture, it is the second largest employer of Human Resources. By 2020, SMBs are expected to become a $25.8 billion market and contribute to 22% of the Indian GDP. But the question arises – How can SMBs scale their business? This question plagues all! And the answer to it is very simple – Go SMAC!
Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud, or otherwise known as SMAC, together form a disruptive force creating entirely new business models to focus on. It will bring in new working styles and digitization of processes. It has also been predicted by Gartner that 10% of the computers will be learning and not processing devices by 2017. Let us see how.
Social – Social media platforms have created a virtual world, void of any geographical boundaries. Active social media users in India have grown at 15% since 2015 to reach 136 million in 2016. So has the digital ad-spend, growing at 47.5% in 2016. Social has created an authority in the internet world and it will be foolishness to ignore this platform. You can reach millions of people through it, promote and sell your product, generate a buzz for your brand and build a long-lasting relation with your customers – all while sitting at one place.
Mobile – Mobile technologies have increased engagement and action. Providing connectivity almost everywhere, it lets you access data and information on the go. India has crossed 200 million smart-phones users, thanks to the economical smart phones penetrating the Indian market. The usage of internet in mobile was around 1.4 million TB in the year 2015-2016 (Department of Telecommunication data). 80% users use mobile technologies for online communication.
This technology is very important at every stage of the decision making cycle. The users browse information, do product comparisons, read reviews and research on the same during the pre-purchase stage. It is important to be able to tap these customers right at the nascent stage to reap the maximum benefits. Next comes the purchase stage where people buy products online and through mobile technologies. And obviously the post-purchase stage, wherein the customer uses mobile technologies and social media to interact, post reviews and take the decision of forming a long lasting relationship with the brand. This is primarily the reason why m-commerce is taking the front seat these days.
Analytics – The world is driven by data. Almost 2.5 Exabyte of data is produced every day. Imagine the amount of data that exists in this world. This data, if captured correctly and utilised judiciously, can help in driving innovation and optimising business functions. It also helps to reduce costs and improve operational excellence. Social Media is the major producer of this data which can aptly be used to frame your future strategies for expansion.
Companies deploying analytics in their planning and strategies, have a competitive edge over others. They will always have the best data at hand to take the correct decision when it is the need of the hour. From predicting consumer’s buying decisions to exposing fraudulent transactions, analytics lends a helping hand for all!
Some of the best tools to help you with this are – SAP Lumira or Tableau (for Visualisation) and Hadoop Sandbox (for data fetching and mining)
Cloud – Enterprise cloud adoption has grown to 31%, up from 13% at the start of 2015. Thanks to cloud, SMBs can save a lot of money and invest it in better and focused expansion strategies. It increases control over your work and employees. Cloud services are available at a minimal cost and help in reducing the investment in physical storage, power and IT requirements. Also, you are no longer dependent on one system. You can check your files anytime and anywhere. There is also ease of collaboration enabling people to work from the same master document. It also reduces the risk involved since there are sufficient security measures and proper back up.
Microsoft Azure is an example of Cloud Platform. With an availability of 99.95%, Microsoft Azure provides you with features like –
- Web and Mobile
- Data and Storage
It acts as both Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) and uses the pay-as-you-go method (pay for only the resources that you use).
All the four platforms – Social, Mobile, Cloud and Analytics – are a major driver towards expansion in today’s era. Netflix is the best example of this. It uses the perfect mix of all the above four platforms to give its customers the most personalised experience. Using analytics it recommends films/series tailored for you based on your prior views and then directly streams them for you through cloud (one-to-one marketing). These videos can be viewed across multiple platforms including desktop, tablet and mobile. And then obviously, social media is integrated on Netflix to enable you to share on your social graph.
So we see that SMAC, or Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud are the best platform to go big in today’s era. With least investment and cost-efficient solutions one can scale up their business easily by using these platforms combined with the right strategies. We, at Easebuzz are doing the same. Being a payment solution, we host our services on Amazon Web Servers (Cloud) and provide our clients with the analytics feature in the back end. Also, you can easily share the payment links on social media and on mobile technologies.
So to say, SMAC is the future and the best avenue to start expanding. The world is on SMAC. Where are you?