Good old CeBIT. New for us, first reviews could be found one week before the event even started. Despite all prejudices the leading it trade fair did open with a bang indeed: By 2018 everything will be different – following the slogan “Disrupt yourself before others do!”

One does not experience this every day: the first review already appears seven days before the opening of CeBIT, as seen at Computerwoche, and shows how controversial the event is seen. Critical voices are getting louder and louder – CeBIT drifts into insignificance and should be joined with Hanover Fair. Becoming so demanding that german Chancellor Angela Merkel feels to explicitly address this topic in her traditional opening speech – advicing against it.

“Forget Everything You Know About CeBIT”

And then something happens no one really has expected – not even the event’s supervisory board: From 2018 everything will be different in CeBIT world! This starts right with the date CeBIT is usually held – in 2018 it is scheduled in June.

A bit more colorful, more communicative, louder and more open. A festival of digitization. For EVERYONE – again, finally. Further information for your postfactual opinion here.

Apart from that – Business as usual

The rest of the event happenend to be the absolute usual way, with the usual demands and proclamations. Digitalization is too slow – 70% of companies still FAX.

Angela Merkel demands “On the way to a digital age, we should not leave people behind, but must put them on focus and explain the benefits of digital change.”

Unfortunately, useful innovation for the social consequences of digitization are still missing. You better take responsibility for yourself. “Discourage yourself before others do it!”, says Dieter Weichl, Executive Coach and Senior Partner at Business Culture Hawlitzeck & Weichl PartG and demands a fundamental rethinking in order to achieve social transformation in the age of digitization. “Coding” as a new compulsory subject in addition to math and german simply does not reach far enough, here we totally agree with Sascha Lobo’s column!

Security, Leonardo and Clea

Finally, a few personal highlights. Security was a recurring theme throughout the entire event. As diverse as the opportunities around artificial intelligence, virtual & augmented reality, IoT, machine learning, etc. may be, quite clearly companies still have to do a lot of homework here. Nicely put in a nutshell by Ryan Kazanciyan, chief security architect, Tanium, Inc., USA, in his Keynote „The 7 Habits of Highly-Effective Hackers“.

And, of course, we took close look at SAP. The software giant thoroughly dedicated itself to digitization offering a truely holisitc approach. With the ambitious goal of reforming the business world, SAP presented digital solutions for all business units at this year’s CeBIT.

Softwarewise they focused on SAP Leonardo and SAP Clea. SAP Leonardo is SAP’s IoT portfolio launched in January. For the very first time SAP hereby offers a mixture of IoT solutions AND consulting. It is designed to simplify the entry into IoT solutions by identifying companies individual business use cases more quickly and developing IoT applications very rapidly and easily. Detailed information about SAP Leonardo is available in this post of Computerwoche. For SAP Clea, SAP’s Machine Learning Portfolio, the software giant brought a great testimonial on board: Adidas. First scan an Adidas customer’s foot, customize the shoe up to 100% and then produce it using a 3D printer. The shoe collects numerous data during carrying, which then can be used not only to create an optimized follow-up model, but also to provide fitness plans or even medical alerts. You find the whole story here.

 Bottom line

Despite all criticism we did enjoy CeBIT this year and are now looking forward to the new format. Will the organizers adapt their own motto and follow the demand for disruption? Or is the launch a failure already, due to a too strong “dilution of the event’s clear concept,” as Stefan Rojacher from Kaspersky Lab complained? We appreciate your opinion.

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