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Aberdeen Group is working to introduce SoMoClo, an over-arching strategy regarding a radical transformation of IT infrastructure where Social, Mobile, and Cloud function as one, creating the opportunity for radical business transformation.

IT infrastructure has come a long way since the heyday of client-server architecture.

In 2010 many organisations incorporated cloud services, social business, and enterprise mobility into core IT.

However, these technologies first appeared on the scene as data and technology silos, concurrent but not necessarily connected (see figure 1).

In 2011, the previously siloed IT structures began to overlap and merge (see figure 2):

Social-Cloud: In a recent study of organisations which use cloud-enabled social business solutions to collaborate in real-time, Aberdeen found that 73 per cent of top performers (identified by a number of metrics, including their ability to share business-critical information throughout their company almost 50-times faster than the industry average) were able to work cohesively with departments with no direct reporting relationship in place.

Top performers were 1.8 times more likely than the industry average to display this quantitative measure of teamwork.

Figure 1

Figure 2

Mobile-Cloud: 2011 also saw the rise of cloud-based mobility and network management solutions that enable mobile and remote workers to connect securely and collaborate through their mobile devices.

Top performers in a 2011 study (those providing twice as many employees with secure remote mobile access as the average performers), saw an 18 per cent year-over-year improvement in their time-to-decision.

That's over 3-times the improvement of lagging organisations.

Social-Mobile: Converged social-mobile capabilities accelerate business processes, time-to-information, and time-to-action.

In a recent study, top-performing organisations, defined as those that saw a 72 per cent year-over-year improvement in time-to-information, acheived a 42 per cent increase in operational efficiency, 2.6 times greater than the industry average.

The synchronous and asynchronous communications enabled by social media from one-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many, accelerate task alignment, which is critical to achieving team goals.

The proliferation of social and mobile technology has also changed the way enterprise knowledge workers select, procure, and master their devices and software.

Their increased use of self-service software provisioning platforms and information management tools allows IT to shift focus from help-desk activities to meeting broader business goals.

2012: SoMoClo
Figure 3

We expect this convergence to continue apace into 2012, resulting in far-reaching business transformation. In fact, we are already seeing the deep consolidation of this technology approach in some high-performing organisations.

In these organisations, Social, Mobile, and Cloud function as one construct, not three, hence the term: SoMoClo.

With SoMoClo, cloud is the core of the system, mobility its edge, and social the connection between the mobile endpoints.

This model places these three disruptive technologies in context, and describes the technical and services infrastructure that will allow organisations to provide an end-user experience in which all employees are connected (social), everywhere they go (mobile), and have access to data when and where they need it (cloud).

This seamless end-user experience is the foundation of the connected consumer experience: social, mobile, and cloud perceived as an integrated, ever-present, and invisible fabric of computation and collaboration.

The typical consumer couldn't tell you where the cloud processing begins, the mobile app takes over, and when social collaboration mechanisms are at work behind the scenes.

But they can tell when the social, mobile, and cloud elements are not integrated or are not fully functional, so they vote with their feet and they go elsewhere.

Enterprise end-users aren't any different in their expectations. They already experience the power of SoMoClo at home or on the road, and either will or already do expect nothing less in the workplace.

CIO Take Charge
A creative tension often exists between the office of the CIO and the demands of employees, customers, and the business as a whole.

IT is responsible for securing and protecting corporate assets, vetting new technologies, and meeting the increased demand for universal access, broadband ubiquity, and new software applications.

Unfortunately, IT is often forced into a defensive position as its budget fails to keep pace with growing expectations.

SoMoClo offers the CIO a converged vision and a roadmap for the future of IT infrastructure.

As a conceptual construct, it reframes infrastructure decisions in a unified model, and repositions IT as a facilitator of the future of the business.

This heady time for technology and innovation is an opportunity for the CIO to reestablish his or her position as a technology thought leader.

Much work remains to be done before the SoMoClo vision is fully enterprise-ready. Cloud security, social business compliance, and mobile application development are only a few of the challenges.

Who better to lead your organisation into this world than you?

© 2011 Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Used by permission only