Everything networked - securely

CeBIT 2014 Everything networked - securely

"Big data – datability" is the watchword that can be seen everywhere at this year’s CeBIT. The idea behind the catch phrase is the use of large volumes of data at high speed for business and industrial processes. This should, however, comprise effective protection and security, as Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed at the opening ceremony.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron look at robots during their CeBIT tour.

About 3,500 exhibitors are showing the latest technical developments at CeBIT

Photo: Bundesregierung/Denzel

Over the next few days some 3,500 exhibitors from more than 70 countries will be demonstrating how this is technically possible at the world’s largest computer fair in Hannover. It is not only technical solutions that are on show though. "CeBIT is also a forum for discussion and exchange on the ways in which bits and bytes, apps and clouds and social media are revolutionising our lives, and how we can make responsible use of the opportunities offered by the latest technical developments," explained the Chancellor at the opening ceremony.

Reliable legal framework needed

The digital European market offers small and large companies alike huge opportunities, stressed the Chancellor. For sound development, effective technical and legal data privacy must be ensured. This in turn demands a reliable legal framework, at least at European level.

The Chancellor was accompanied on her traditional opening tour of CeBIT by British Prime Minister David Cameron. The United Kingdom is this year’s CeBIT partner country. More than 150 British IT businesses will be exhibiting in Hannover until Friday.

Whole factories become "smart"

"Germany, as a traditional industrial country, depends on the continued merging of our industries with information technologies," said the Chancellor. This becomes obvious at every turn at at CeBIT.

For some time now experts have been speaking about the fourth industrial revolution "Industry 4.0". The combination is leading to what is termed the Internet of Things and to entirely new value creation processes, including smart factories and products like networked cars. Industry 4.0 is also one of the projects for the future under the German government’s High-Tech Strategy.

Network expansion progressing

High performance broadband networks are essential for the success of new high-tech products. In Hannover, Angela Merkel pointed to the Digital Agenda recently adopted by the German government. Three federal ministries will be working together under the Agenda to accelerate the expansion of Germany’s digital infrastructure between now and 2017.

Telekom and Vodafone have assured her, she reported, that swift progress is being made on extending networks. Telekom will lay 10,000 kilometres of fibre-optic cables over the next two years. The two companies are investing billions in a fast mobile network.

Balls and passes ruthlessly analysed

At the SAP stand, Angela Merkel discovered that nothing is safe from digitalisation. Using special software the SAP specialists analysed the matches played by the German national team. Who runs how far? Is the leg work effective? Are the passes accurate? The data from thousands of matches can be used to produce a detailed evaluation in real time.

Angela Merkel and David Cameron tested it, taking the example of last November’s test match in which England played Germany. Germany won the match 1:0. The analysis showed that both teams still had a lot of unused potential – just like national IT industries in Europe, declared the Chancellor. And that is why in future they should cooperate more closely to develop innovations; on this point Angela Merkel and her British counterpart were in full agreement.

CeBIT is the world’s largest showcase for information and communications technology. This year’s CeBIT is focusing on "Big Data – Datability", i.e. using large volumes of data at high speed responsibly and sustainably. The fair will also look at mobile cloud applications and various digital technologies: from industrial processes to networked electric mobility to digital communications among businesses, or "social business".
In the "Public Sector Parc", local authorities, states and the federal government are demonstrating modern administrative services and e-government.
CeBIT originally stood for Centrum der Büro- und Informationstechnik (Centre for Office and Information Technology). It has been part of the annual Hannover Messe since 1970, and became a fair in its own right in 1986.