Nowadays technology is everywhere and affects all aspects of our lives constantly changing and improving the way we live, go about our business and communicate. Nothing has had a bigger impact on the human race than the invention of the mobile phone and in particular the ‘smartphone’. Every new mobile device we buy is greatly more powerful than the previous and when we purchase a phone from the local shop it is now more powerful than the computer NASA used to send man to the moon in 1969. This power has led to an increase in features and functionality which in turn led the consumer to quickly see the value in owning one. At the end of 2012 there were more mobile devices than there were people in the world, that in itself now presents massive opportunity for both businesses and consumers alike.
Providing easy access through mobile technology has also provided the correct access channel for the phenomenon that is social networking. Networks of people who are connected through relationships can now be accessed anywhere that a device can access mobile phone data. These vast networks thrive on activity and easy accessibility and are built to encourage user data generation through posting, commenting, uploading, rating, liking, sharing, streaming, downloading, friending, grouping and following,
In generating vast amounts of data this allows the owners to see trends, analyse user behaviour and determine future needs and wants which is extremely valuable when monetising communities and understanding what the product roadmap needs to be. Capturing the data is one thing being able to move the data around and see the trends is a completely different challenge in itself. Marketers right now don’t know what they want to know in 5 years time so all networks now have policies of ‘keep everything’ which means traditional strategies of data management are completely thrown out the window. Systems now need to be scalable and redundant to cope with this demand and this had led to the creation of Cloud Computing.
On demand pay as you go systems and services that are built for scale are now readily available through Cloud Computing. Pioneered by Amazon in the early days they created a market for a new way of selling infrastructure that enabled products and businesses to get off the ground with minimal capital costs. This has been one of the biggest influences in the explosion of digital services.
Each of the major influences in this computing cycle Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud cannot be treated as individual silos and must instead be treated as a combination in order to achieve the greatest value. We are at the start of the next computing evolution and the unification of these areas will provide the platform for many new and innovative services.