CeBIT Remains Relevant in IT Industry Even Amid Struggling EU Economy
Crisis after crisis has slammed the Euro Zone like the big chunks of Comet Schumaker-Levy that pounded Jupiter a few years ago. The economic crisis was far more serious in Europe than it was in the U.S., and the effects, while different, went much deeper. The surprise isn’t that CeBIT took a hit from a weak economy. The surprise is that the show was strong enough to survive the past year of the EU economy and do as well as it has done. If you recall how things were in the U.S. when the economy tanked in 2008, things here were much diminished as well. But the things that were strong in nature came back. The theory that somehow this one trade show indicates that all such large events are history ignores reality. When the economy was weak in the U.S., some events also became diminished. But if you look at the large events now, ranging from the Consumer Electronics Show to SXSW, you’ll see that they’re stronger than ever. So clearly technology events aren’t gone. So if these events aren’t yesterday’s echoes, then what’s going on? I think that these technology events are a lot like the rest of the world of IT. When there’s confidence in the future, companies will spend money to bet on the future. When the future looks bleak, then they won’t.And to an extent, they are correct. It is companies, the employees and corporate owners that set the course of the economy, both in the U.S. and in Europe. Confidence is starting to return to the U.S. economy even as its leaders remain absorbed in ineffectual squabbling. The same will happen in Europe, and in fact may already be happening. Ultimately, this means that the big events where companies learn what the future holds in terms of the technology they need to plan for will come back. CeBIT isn’t so much diminished as it is recovering from a stunning blow that no one saw coming. The economy in the U.S. is doing the same thing, after five long, stagnant years. This is good for everyone, with or without the CeBIT-scale press parties or political rallies.
Until very recently, the world looked bleak to many companies in the U.S., especially tech companies. To some, it’s still looks bleak as the White House and Congress play ping-pong with the U.S. economy in their game of passing the fiscal megabuck. The surprise is that tech companies and other industries in the U.S. are beginning to believe that they need to invest in the future again. Many have apparently decided that the wrangling by Congress and the White House over the budget and federal deficit is irrelevant as far as their business plans are concerned.