Large events like the upcoming CeBIT are casting their shadow forward. Held in March, CeBIT is the mother of all IT conventions and not only takes up thousands of square meters in exhibition space, but also specializes in informative, inspiring and high-caliber international keynotes.

Keynotes from industry leaders and pioneers have long been regarded as the icing on the cake at tech conventions and act as an important compass for the newest trends and developments in the tech industry.

Before we can allow ourselves to look forward to the keynotes at CeBIT, this week we got a taste of what industry leaders had to say at the beginning of the year at CES in Las Vegas as well as what to expect from the 2013 tech year.

The consensus among IT leaders is that this year will by no means be easy. Recent studies show that PC sales have declined significantly even in the traditionally strong fourth quarter and despite the recent introduction of Windows 8 with its billion-dollar PR storm.

The tech industry is facing a massive upheaval in 2013. “The tech industry has almost been run over by the mobile computer boom”, said Salesforce.com founder and CEO Marc Benioff.

And this trend was also clearly reflected in keynote speeches at CES.

The most important speakers were the top players in the mobile world. Paul Jacobs represents the best example. The head of the emerging mobile chip giant Qualcomm, who took over the opening address from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, was virtually bursting with self-confidence. “Worldwide daily sales of new smartphones has finally reached nearly 1 million – that’s twice as many mobile phones sales as babies being born each day”, said Jacobs.

Microsoft-CEO Steve Ballmer und Qualcomm-Chef Paul Jacobs (CES 2013)

Microsoft-CEO Steve Ballmer und Qualcomm-Chef Paul Jacobs (CES 2013)

A life without “mobile tech” is virtually no longer thinkable for 80% of people, said Jacobs elatedly. After all, his company is one of the most innovative drivers – and profiteers – of the development of mobile processors.

Things are no different at the Korean CE and IT powerhouse Samsung: 2013 is all about mobile business. Dr. Stephen Woo, President of Samsung Electronics Division, System LSI Business and Device Solutions, also praised the importance of components for new mobile devices.

Verizon CEO Lowell McAdams had his own report on the future of mobile computing. His company, with over 90 million customer, is the leading mobile phone provider in the USA and is seeing big opportunities for mobile technology and cloud computer in the field of health services.

Whether the gap will actually close between rich and poor is yet to be seen. Cloud services and fast data connections capable of transmitting complex information without any significant delays could change some things in medicine, but this is obvious. Michael Bowling, Chief Marketing Officer at Verizon’s main competitor AT&T, is also an ardent fan of cloud computing and sees things the same way.

Salesforce boss Marc Benioff is occupied with the “big shift” at the start of the year, which stands as a major shift in the tech industry. Of particular note, the age of connectivity and mobile computing is leading different areas of IT to grow together faster.

Jochen Siegle & Dieter Jirmann
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