The Rise of SMAC
The Internet of Things. The Third Platform. Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud – or SMAC, for short. The rise of SMAC seems meteoric and pervasive. People who don’t have a smartphone or use social media are outsiders, rather than the norm. So how did this come to be?
The First Platform started in the 1950s. It was the mainframe, the physical computer was the size of the building. The computer was the centre of the digital world, while people buzzed around it. Then in the 1980s, The Second Platform began. Military and academic computers started to talk to each other. Rather than humans buzzing around a mainframe, individual ”client” computers were linked to a large computer ‘server’ that served them their connection.
It was in the early 1990s that Tim Berners Lee built the first Web Browser and commercial client/server systems became available. Email, peer-to-peer file sharing and other technologies were developed and paved the way for the Third Platform. And in the 2010s, SMAC began and the focus shifted from computers to people. Apps and services were created to meet consumer demand and the Internet of Things was born.
So, what things make up the Internet of Things?
The history of computing has seen a shift of focus away from the computer to the individual. Email already allowed instant and nearly free communication around the world, but now communication is everywhere. we are communicating in ways now that we never did before, with texting, email, Skype, Facetime, Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Instagram and even YouTube comments sections – a social everything. Communication is key in today’s technology and will only become more important in the future.
The main difference between the Internet of the 1990s and the Internet of things is mobile devices. Why? Access! 20 years ago, you needed to have an expensive computer and a dedicated phone line. Now, you just need a tablet or a phone and access to a free Wi-Fi hotspot.Most of the world is digital now, with many people having access to anything they want, from education to eCommerce.
The Internet of Things is big, with people reaching each other all over the world and that means Big Data. Analytics takes the information that is generated by people all over the world and uses it to streamline businesses, predict trends and target potential consumers.
Here are the three ‘Vs’ of Analytics:
- Variety: There are many different types of data. There’s computer code, audio and video files and documents. Then there are things like Tweets and client log files, which track how individuals use the Internet
- Volume: Big Data is BIG, not everyone can collect it. When talking about information from people all around the world, you’re talking about a lot of data, just think about Facebook and their 1.8 billion users
- Velocity: Big data is also quick. If it’s yesterday’s news, it’s already useless. Data needs to be collected and analysed quickly to be useful.
The Cloud is a way to access data from any device: it’s the engine on which our modern digital society runs. Without the cloud, we would have to access Big Data directly, which would take us back to the days of the First Platform and a building sized mainframe.
Without The Cloud we would also be limited to what our mobile devices can do without Internet access and, probably scariest of all, the social media we use every day simply would not exist and we’d be back to the IM and chatrooms of the 90s… not as charmingly retro as it sounds!
The rise of SMAC has been fast and widespread. Why? Because it helps people. Think of advertising. Just as the First Platform was based on hardware, so was advertising. It was based on Print, TV and Radio. When the Second Platform began, it brought in the computer. First, it was in the military and academic world, but even there, the seeds were planted for bulk email lists and commercial homepages.
When it went commercial, the Internet as we know it began. Banner ads, search engine optimization, social media and YouTube began. The way that we consumed media and advertising changed forever. When Social, Media, Analytics and the Cloud became prevalent in the 2010s it didn’t just change, it evolved - but thinking didn’t evolve with it.
Advertisers can reach you on your TV and on your computer. Thanks to SMAC, they can now also reach you on your phone, on your tablet, in the games you play and the apps you use, they can follow you from device to device. They can use Analytics to work out what you are most likely to buy and the time you are most likely to buy it. The Cloud gives them vast computational power and the ability to store huge amounts of information. Thanks to Social Media, that information is shared by customers for free (Facebook alone has a billion daily users!). SMAC is no longer the next big thing - it is THE BIG THING. If you’re not using it, you’re going to be left behind.
Zachary Jarvis is a Digital Marketer with one thing on his mind: Results.
Uninspired by the never ending talk of ‘vanity metrics’ in the world of digital marketing, Magnate was founded - the ‘Social-First’ marketing agency.
On the very rare occasion he isn’t watching Step Brothers in his spare time, you’ll find Zachary in the thick of social platforms, learning what makes us tick.
This is driven by a fascination (perhaps a slight obsession...) with market trends and consumer behaviours.