It’s a matter of convergence

I’ve been hearing a lot more lately about Social, Mobile, Cloud, and Big Data as a combined theme lately. But it often feels like the combination is used more for convenience, or to discuss them as coincident trends. But the real story is that combination of these emerging capabilities is the actual change agent. Any of them alone is an exciting opportunity, but converged together, they enable things only imagined previously in science fiction. In a lot of ways, it starts with mobile, but not just delivering mobile apps to customers. By mobile, I mean distributed and mobile presence delivered through mobile devices, sensors, and connected “things”. The universe of these connected things is expanding at an alarming pace, providing an unprecedented fabric of sensory awareness that can produce more insights than anything we’ve seen before. But we’ve had sensors for years, so what has changed is the second trend – big data. Big data gives us the ability to glean insights out of this deluge of information, so that we can actually do things based upon it – make decisions, improve interactions, reduce inefficiencies, react to business stimuli. The third trend, social, provides new channels for interaction, but also adds more context to what we know about customers and employees and products, and helps to connect this big data together in new ways. These insights can be transformed into actions at the point of impact by feeding back to those mobile devices. The fourth trend, Cloud, provides affordable computing power on demand, to enable all of this. When everybody has a supercomputer’s worth of computing power at their fingertips, all of this becomes possible.

That’s what we’re talking about at IBM Impact in Las Vegas this week. Join in the conversation by following #ibmimpact on Twitter. See you there.

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