IT-Profits 7.0: limits to freedom even in the clouds

Date: Tue, 01/25/2011 - 19:38

IT-Profits 7.0: limits to freedom even in the clouds

IT-Profits 7.0 – Trade Fair and Forum for IT, mobile and web services - Focus on cloud services – 11 and 12 May 2011 in Berlin

Cloud computing is the dominant theme in IT around the world. Discussions about its increasing commercial success also have to take into account the drawbacks associated with data that is no longer being distributed on users’ computers but via a metaphorical cloud of external systems.
For example, last december the American internet corporation Amazon barred the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks from its computing centre. It is still unclear whether the exclusion of WikiLeaks was the result of political pressure. Although Amazon denies any political influence, one thing is clear: WikiLeaks, which had been exploiting the benefits and freedoms offered by cloud computing, has been brought back down to earth and is now subject to the control of cloud computing being exercised by Amazon. “Even on the internet there are limits to freedom. Some items of information should not be made accessible to everyone, but simply denying access, as Amazon and others have done, is unacceptable too. Instead smarter mechanisms should be applied”, according to Dr. Mathias Petri, Chairamn of SaaS-EcoSystem e.V. Cloud computing and its associated opportunities, risks, potentials and actual solutions will form the main theme for the seventh IT-Profits. Some 3,500 suppliers and users of IT, web and mobile services will be meeting in Berlin, Germany’s centre for internet creativity, in order to cast some light on the benefits and challenges offered by cloud services, such as IT services, communications services and web-based applications. Jens Heithecker, Director of the relevant Competence Centre at Messe Berlin, says: “Cloud as a business model is giving a powerful impetus to the IT sector and forms the main theme of IT-Profits 7.0. Companies’ increasing demands for flexibility are also reflected in their IT structures and systems. If, for example, WikiLeaks reveals certain risks involving data security or server availability, it will be even more important for companies to be able to obtain information about solutions such as so-called private clouds and, as a compact forum for business, IT-Profits provides the most efficient framework in this respect.”

Cloud computing as a competitive factor for small and medium-sized companies
Although IT is one of the most important factors in determining business competitiveness, few businessmen are aware of the actual requirements, processes, risks and possibilities associ-ated with it. At the same time the deployment of the latest information and communication technologies has become a critical factor in companies’ efforts to achieve success. Due to the pressures of competition, small and medium-sized companies in particular are reliant on cooperative networks, especially those of a virtual nature, and on the associated creation of technological networks with other companies. An increasing number of companies are outsourcing some of their information technology to internet data clouds. These clouds are realistic computing centres which are frequently operated externally by other companies, such as Amazon and Google.
IT-Profits is playing its own part in improving the transparency and quality of mobile and web-based services both within companies and in the collaboration between various businesses. The programme of papers at IT-Profits includes some 100 impulse papers in which experts  will show how companies can act in a more productive, flexible and mobile way.

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