A week ago, I landed in India anticipating a relaxing week. Its been a hectic couple of months resettling in NYC after 4 years in India so this was a welcome break. Unfortunately I ended up injuring my back post a yoga class and have been on bed rest since.

But this is not a pity post nor one about back injuries. You can search on L4-L5-LS-S1 disc injuries and there is tons of medical explanations online, most of which I don’t really understand. All I know is that I am in pain and I am unable to do the things I intended to do this week. So what do proactive Chief Marketing Technologists do when they lie around broken for days on end? Think about and rely on technology, of course!

There are four major trends everyone is talking and writing about in technology nowadays. Social – Mobile – Cloud – Big Data. Much like medical information, its hard to really understand what the big deal is about these as it related to addressing the pain points of a business which, much like me, may be overextending its capacity and resources. They seem like buzzwords and nice to have right? Most of us who are just trying to “get the basics”right can’t see their business criticality.  Until, of course, something goes wrong and you lose your data, your customers, your people. In short, when your business is crippled. Speaking from real time personal experience, it sucks!

So as I start my road to recovery, I think of all the things I need to heal as quickly as possible: fresh air and sunlight through the windows, good company of my friends and family, fond memories to relive and winning ideas to get my head into a positive space. In the same way, businesses going through a tough time need mobile, social, cloud and big data on their road to recovery. Its time to think of these as a table stakes

So here is my survival and recovery kit! If you have had a similar experience, share yours!

Mobile – “Windows”: Mobile is a lot more than voice, although making the SoS phone call is important. Between my phone and my tablet, its like having light and cross ventilation from two windows in the room I am stuck in! I am able to connect and work from my bed, even though I can’t go anywhere, the world can come to me! I rescheduled my flights, informed my colleagues and friends and have been able to get all my news/updates and shopping done.

Social – “Company”: Definitely the fastest way to give and get updates across all your network. One Facebook post and everyone who needs to know becomes aware of my situation. I received good wishes but also recommendations on specialist doctors. I am able to blog about my experience broadly. I don’t feel lonely or alone at all because I am connected socially. This is not just about passing time, but also accessing the experts and advice I need to recover.

Cloud – “Memories”: Since I didn’t intend on working while on vacation, I didn’t bring my work laptop. Fortunately all the critical information I need is stored in the Cloud and therefore easily accessible from any device very easily. Whether it be my email or critical work data, all I needed was a userid and a password and my mobile device.  Also my old medical records were stored in the cloud and my doctor was able to pull these up to diagnose my injury better. Much better than him jogging his memory from 3 years ago when he treated me last! 

Big Data – “Ideas”: While Cloud is where you store and access memories, analyzing Big Data gives you new ideas and perspective. I started the week by watching TV, which is very uni-dimensional. Then I switched to following the US Open using SlamTracker on usopen.org and its a whole new way interactive experience the tournament. You can understand why certain players win, and its not superstition, but really there is a science to winning. If you have time check out how the “Keys to the Match” work. It’s not to say that there are not gifted players, like Andy Murray, but there is no such thing as good or bad luck but if you can make your keys your will more likely win.

Virginia Sharma is the Vice President, Marketing, North America Systems and Technology Group at IBM. 


Reproduced with permission from her blog (Views are of the author and not IBMs)


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