HANNOVER, Germany—How do you know when an industry is growing? When the trade show company putting on the industry’s biggest show has to line up more space. That’s the situation facing Deutsche Messe and the managers of the massive CeBIT trade show here.
At CeBIT's Preview Press conference here, Bitkom president Prof. Dieter Kempf presented the results of a study done by his company that found 85 percent of IT companies expect to see a growth in sales of IT services in 2014 over sales in 2013. In addition, 87 percent expect to see an increase in software spending.
Prof. Kempf told eWEEK that the growth in Europe is very strong, starting with sales in the second half of 2013, with the U.K. and the United States being slightly stronger. He also said that hiring in IT will be extremely strong in 2014, and he said that he expects the demand for trained IT staff in parts of Europe, especially in Germany, to exceed supply. Bitkom is the trade association for German technology companies.
Prof. Kempf said that the strong growth in the IT sector is a part of the rebound in the economy, and also partly due to the growing integration into some critical industries, especially industries such as auto manufacturing. Europe, like the United States, was hard hit by the Great Recession and the subsequent European debt crisis, but is now recovering.
In an interview with eWEEK, Oliver Frese, the Deutsche Messe board member responsible for CeBIT, said that this strong growth in IT as well as a change in focus for the trade show has translated into growth for CeBIT. In a process that began a few years ago, CeBIT has been transformed from a general technology trade show to one that focuses exclusively on information and communications technology. Frese said that a number of companies, including HP, which will have a pavilion of its own for 2014, are expanding their presence. Previously, HP had shared a partner pavilion.
The automobile industry is one of the manufacturing sectors that’s having a major impact on IT, according to Continental AG senior vice president Ralf Lenninger who said that the connected car is only part of the merging of automotive electronics and IT.
Lenninger said in remarks at the press conference that an event called the “Traffic Collapse” is on the horizon in large cities. A traffic collapse happens when commute times exceed 60 minutes—an event that’s already happened in a few large cities.