Reboot Your Thinking -- AIIM 2014 and the SMAC Stack

By Bryant Duhon posted 01-08-2014 14:31


On Wednesday, April 2 at 8:30, get ready for a cognitive reboot as we kick off AIIM 2014 with Thornton May's keynote presentation, Don't Blow your (S.M.A.C.) Stack. Thornton explains, as a futurist I am obligated to attempt to identify inflection points — things that fundamentally disrupt the status quo, change, the competitive dynamic, call into question existing practices and require a general cognitive reboot. I predict that four disruptive technologies, mnemonically labeled the “S.M.A.C. Stack” [Social, Mobile, Analytics/Big Data, and the Cloud] will shape the next competitive cycle. These technologies need to be understood, mastered, and deployed to maximum effect.

Thornton May is Futurist, Executive Director, and Dean of the IT Leadership Academy - and the author of The New Know, Innovation Powered by Analytics. His extensive experience researching and consulting on the role and behaviors of Boards of Directors and “C” level executives in creating value with information technology has won him an unquestioned place on the short list of serious thinkers on this topic. Thornton combines a scholar's patience for empirical research, a stand-up comic's capacity for pattern recognition and a second-to-none gift for storytelling to the information technology management problems facing executives. 

Q: What do you mean when you say “cognitive reboot?”

May: Technology changes what is possible. Every “age” has a feel, a zeitgeist. That zeitgeist is very much a function of the fact that every age has a defining technology. The age we are just now entering has four defining technologies – Social, Mobile, Analytics, & Cloud – the SMAC stack. The economics and ergonomics of experimentation have changed. It has never been easier – or more profitable – to do new things. To do new things require new modes of thought. That is why I advocate a “cognitive reboot.”

Q: What’s causing one now?

May: 2014 is going to be a BIG year for change. All the environmental factors contributing to massive change [e.g., dissatisfaction with status quo, disruptive buzzing of new participants deploying new technologies in unique and unorthodox ways, and available/affordable capital] are in massive abundance.

Q: In the SMAC Stack, is any one more disruptive than the others or is each as disruptive in their own way?

May: The organizations who will truly prosper in 2014 are those who attack the SMAC stack not one technology as a time but focus rather on how all these four disruptive technologies can fundamentally change value drivers.

Q: How are each disruptive to the status quo?

May: If you aren’t at a parity point regarding social, mobile, analytics, and cloud mastery – employees won’t work for you and customers won’t buy from you. You can’t get much more disruptive than that – no workers and no revenues.

Q: How does this affect managing content?

May: It places content management [meaning making] back on top of the strategic agenda.

Q: You talk about the pupil to data ration and the deluge of information, are these tools causing or helping address that issue? Or both?

May: Industrial-age enterprises were designed to operate at the lowest possible informational level – because at the time information was scarce, hard to collect, expensive to store, and impossible to analyze in a timely basis. The fact that there is a super-abundance of information floating around for anyone to do anything with IS NOT A BUG – IT IS THE DEFINING FEATURE OF OUR NEW CIVILIZATION.

Q: So, how do companies avoid a SMAC upside the head?

May: Organizations need to re-examine what they do and why they do it – down to the activity level – with any eye toward how the SMAC stack change things.

Avoid a SMAC upside your business' head. Join us in Orlando for AIIM Conference 2014.

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