Senior staff from C5 Alliance Group recently returned from a two-day visit to the CeBIT computer expo in Hanover, Germany, where they heard from leading industry experts on the latest trends in IT, technology and the connected world.
Chief Executive Officer, Mark Loane and Managing Director Marc Lainé both attended the event – the largest and most international of its kind – as a discovery exercise and a chance to build relationships with well-known industry suppliers and thought leaders.
Mr Loane said the experience was invaluable, both for its networking opportunities and its insight on current trends.
‘We made some key contacts in the tech sector including some big vendors, such as IBM and Sophos, and some influential individuals,’ he said.
‘There were some fascinating presentations on industry hot topics; “Internet of Things” and “big data” were perhaps the most salient of these. Germany is really innovating in the “Internet of Things” space which, put simply, is the idea that objects can be equipped with unique identifiers and given the ability to transfer data over a network. This commonly involves machine-to-machine communications, used widely in the automotive industry, but has huge potential.
‘Big data, another common theme, relates to the huge volumes of data that we have access to, largely due to the prevalence of mobile technology and applications. Growth of the Internet of Things phenomenon will only escalate this, and the potential uses for this kind of data in business and marketing are vast,’ he said.
Mr Lainé said that the event had been a great platform to forge bonds with some high profile figures in the industry. Among those he met was Natalya Kaspersky, a renowned Russian businesswoman and one of the founders of security software developers Kaspersky Labs.
‘Security was another prominent trend, in both the talks and new product launches at the event. Developments with big data and the Internet of Things are inspiring, but also pose some very serious security considerations,’ said Mr Lainé.
‘Natalya touched on the reality that data leaks are as harmful as security attacks, such as viruses, but often overlooked. In the US there exist security breach notification laws, which require companies to announce any security breaches to their stakeholders. In the UK and Channel Islands, we don’t have these laws in place yet, but we expect this to be something businesses will have to plan for in the near future,’ he said.
Mr Loane said that staying connected with the wider industry, by looking at ways that C5 Alliance can leverage partnerships and harness the latest technologies, is a key priority.
‘We are always closely monitoring technological advances and looking for ways to offer benefits to local businesses. Consequently, security is an area where we are increasingly expanding our expertise,’ he said.