Opinion: CeBIT 2016 - Wolf In Sheep's Clothing

Visiting this year's CeBIT in Hannover, Germany was interesting, but not for the reasons I'd hoped it would be. Their headline / motto  and its execution this year "Digital Transformation" was underwhelming to say the least. 

Digitization is a trend we've been seeing in conservative industries for the last 20+ years when Windows 95 started to ship to the end consumer and companies now had the ability to give people without any technical background the chance to become more productive and embrace software like email for day to day business. 

We are living through this paradigm shift which should be compared to the industrial revolution in scale and importance. Yet, many people still don't see the value of digital processes or are anxious about security issues (especially in Germany, believe me). 

The CeBIT is the biggest IT sales pitch of 2016

I was disappointed that VR was not focussed as much or anything like theMicrosoft Hololens which will have a much bigger influence in the next 10 years in relation to a virtual work space, working on the go or something similar. But as usual I think the gaming industry will be a better indicator of future technologies - e.g. Sony introduced the launch of Playstation VR this year which will take a major step towards commercialising this sort of technology at scale.

A similar story happened with Nintendo. The Nintendo DS was introduced in 2004 and featured a dedicated second screen for touch commands and put it in hands of children and older folks who'd enjoy games like brain jogging (Dr. Kawashima) . 4 years later Apple introduced the iPhone and the rest is history. 

Getting back on CeBIT: What I saw was not the future, I saw a call to a standardized implementation of digital software to drive analog processes which is basically not revolutionary for a fair that claims to be one of the world's leading platforms in that regard. 

So before you spend all your hard earn company budget on any "revolutionary" software, look for pure practicallity and customer value in all your processes. Make it a core strategy to implement only new elements that have a direct ROI, everything else is hype and probably just cost you money, take "ctrl" (control).

What do you think?

Thanks for reading!

Sebastian