Sweeping digitization of business and society to take center stage at CeBIT 2015

Date: Tue, 02/10/2015 - 19:11

Sweeping digitization of business and society to take center stage at CeBIT 2015

Jack Ma of Alibaba and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to speak at Opening Ceremony. Major digital industry star power confirmed for CeBIT Global Conferences

In just over four weeks the gates will open on the world’s leading trade fair for IT and the digital economy: CeBIT in Hannover, Germany. CeBIT 2015 will feature its biggest-ever Partner Country showcase and an unprecedented lineup of topical themes and compelling speakers. The CeBIT Opening Ceremony will be held on Sunday, 15 March – the eve of the show. It will feature keynote addresses by a number of prominent guests, including the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and Jack Ma, the founder of Chinese eCommerce giant Alibaba. “We are in for a very strong show. This year’s lead theme, d!conomy, will put the spotlight squarely on the sweeping digitization of all areas of business and society that we are witnessing at present, and the profound changes this is causing,” said Oliver Frese, the responsible member of the Managing Board at Deutsche Messe, at last Wednesday’s CeBIT Press Preview, which attracted over 100 journalists from around the globe. “The digital economy – ‘d!conomy’ – will be addressed in various ways by the vast majority of CeBIT exhibitors as well as in the CeBIT Global Conferences and the many forums taking place as part of the event. Digitization is today’s number one megatrend.”

CeBIT to cover the entire scope of digitization
“Visitors to this year’s CeBIT can immerse themselves in every conceivable aspect of digitization, delving into the many opportunities it creates as well as the challenges to be faced,” said Frese. “Going digital is not just about buying new software and hardware. It’s a strategic decision and a cultural shift of relevance to virtually every company, across all sectors. CeBIT gives visitors all the right answers, enabling them to stay innovative and maintain top performance.”
The Internet of Things is one of the big opportunities afforded by digitization, and therefore also a key topic across all the display categories at this year’s CeBIT. “The Internet of Things is not just about having smart products hooked up to the Web. It will eventually span the entire value chain via a vast array of sensors, networks, analysis tools and computer centers. And it will leave no industry untouched, which is why it’s absolutely crucial that everyone with corporate responsibility understand the opportunities and profound changes it will bring,” explained Frese.

A wealth of innovations and disruptive ideas
This year’s CeBIT will feature an unprecedented number and variety of fresh ideas from innovative startups. Some 350 young companies will be presenting their disruptive business models in 15 exhibition halls across the Hannover showgrounds. “Digital startups are a major source of fresh thinking and innovation. They also tend to be quicker at turning new ideas into commercially viable realities, often radically transforming entire value chains in the process. That’s why the presentations by the 50 finalists of the CODE_n international startup competition, which is themed ‘Into the Internet of Things’ this year, are an absolute must-see for anyone with an interest in tomorrow’s disruptive technologies,” said Frese.
Even more bright ideas and new business applications will be on offer at the new SCALE 11 showcase in Hall 11. SCALE 11 provides a habitat for young IT companies and the entire ecosystem of private and corporate venture capital providers, business incubators and consultants that typically support and nurture them. Hall 11 will also be home to the first-ever “Developer World” display and event area, which is designed to help young IT companies in their search for new software development talent. “CeBIT 2015 is promising to be a teeming hive of creativity and entrepreneurship. Quite possibly it will be the birthplace of ‘the next big thing,’ whatever that may be,” Frese added. Hall 9 – which houses the Research & Innovation display category and therefore the exhibits of numerous spin-off companies from universities and research institutes – is also shaping up to be a major innovation hotspot.

Top speakers at CeBIT Global Conferences another key source of inspiration
The CeBIT Global Conferences, which ranks as one of the IT world’s most important conference events, will serve as another key wellspring of fresh thinking. Frese: “This year’s program will feature a number of truly inspiring individuals.” Confirmed speakers include the U.S. economist Jeremy Rifkin, the investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald, NATO’s Deputy Assistant Secretary General Jamie Shea, Samsung’s head of global marketing Won-Pyo Hong, Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka, the President of Huawei’s Enterprise Business Group, Yan Lida, the co-founder of Chinese mobile phone manufacturer Xiaomi, Lei Jun, Better Place founder Shai Agassi, Airbnb’s Managing Director (Europe and Africa) Olivier Gremillon, TrasferWise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus and German rock legend Peter Maffay.

Security a critical part of the d!conomy
Security will be another keynote theme – at the CeBIT Global Conferences and throughout the exhibition halls. Hall 6 will be home to exhibits of the latest digital security solutions, designed to stop the sorts of cyberattacks that cause billions of dollars’ worth of damage each year. The physical security solutions on show in Hall 12 will ideally complement the first-ever “DatacenterDynamics@CeBIT” combined trade show and congress. “DatacenterDynamics@CeBIT” is a joint project of Deutsche Messe and internationally renowned event organizer “DatacenterDynamics@CeBIT” and will cover all aspects of modern data centers.

Partner Country China
According to Oliver Frese, China is gearing up to produce “the most powerful Partner Country showcase CeBIT has ever seen.” The country was investing heavily in innovation as part of its strategy to become a leader in the global IT market. “We expect over 600 exhibitors from China, including big-name multinationals such as Alibaba, Huawei and ZTE. At the same time, China remains one of the world’s biggest and most promising growth markets for non-Chinese IT companies,” said Frese.
Four weeks out from CeBIT, Frese was confident in the fair’s ability to deliver on all fronts. “All the key indicators point to a successful show and we’ve had a very positive and strong response from the industry,” he said. A number of big-name companies, such as Alcatel-Lucent, Amazon Webservices, Rittal, Schneider Electric and Konica Minolta are once again taking part. Many exhibitors have opted to book more space this year, among them Samsung, Huawei, the Hasso-Plattner Institute, Intel, HP and ZTE. Volkswagen and RWE are signed on as partners of the SCALE 11 showcase, and the Californian electric car company Tesla is mounting its first-ever exhibit within the “IT enables” display in Hall 12.

Real benefits for SMEs
SMEs, in particular, needed to keep abreast of technological developments and look closely at digitizing their processes, products and business models as a means of achieving their strategic objectives. “More and more studies show that companies with a high degree of digitization tend to come out on top in today’s highly competitive markets, which is why a visit to CeBIT is so important,” explained Frese.

Above, German Chancellor Angela Merkel at CeBIT

Image credited to CeBIT



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