Nov 6th 2013

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Zero Distance: Transforming IT, Leading Business

Review of T-Systems Symposium 2013

How will IT interact with specialist departments in the future? What will be the approach to IT, and what transformations need to take place? What impact do start-ups have on enterprises, markets and new business models? These and other questions were discussed by some 500 invited guests at the T-Systems Symposium held on November 6, 2013, in the "Alte Schmiedehalle" at the Böhler Industrial Site in Düsseldorf, Germany. A review.

In light of the current discussion on eavesdropping practices, the topic of IT security as an enabler for modern IT has been the subject of a lot of attention. In his opening speech, host Hagen Rickmann, Director of Sales at T-Systems, expressed his delight that IT security within companies was now receiving the status it had long deserved. The former president of Germanys Federal Intelligence Service (BND), Dr August Hanning, confirmed this in an impressive keynote address entitled "E-Business in the Age of Cybercrime".

IT must become more pro-active

Start-ups and the factors for their success were discussed by Dr. Stefan Groß-Selbeck, Visiting Professor at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society in Berlin. As the former CEO of Xing and eBay Germany, he shared his experiences in the presentation "Entrepreneurship in the Digital Age."

Following this, Gartner analyst Frank Ridder opened the discussion session "The Future Role of CIOs: Managing Costs or Enabling Business?" with a short speech. He said that business is expressing its dissatisfaction with IT, and that the Generation Y is making a paradigm shift in IT unavoidable. The members of the discussion panel, including CIOs and IT directors from the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Lekkerland, RWE and Zalando all agreed that IT will play a leading role in future business management. Thomas Spreitzer, CMO at T-Systems, said that he would like IT to be more proactive in the business world.

Shopping by QR code

The symposium participants from various branches of industry exchanged ideas about current issues and developments, and had an opportunity to "purchase" items ranging from white papers to footballs from the virtual Symposium Store using QR codes and their smartphones or tablet PCs. Every guest was offered 60 points, with a value of 60 euros, which they could also use to make donations to the German Bone Marrow Donor Center (DKMS) and the Food Bank Organization (Die Tafeln) in Germany.

Chances for new business models

At the conclusion of the T-Systems Symposium 2013, Hagen Rickmann expressed his optimism for the future: "We believe that the interaction between business and the CIO will result in many new business models. And that applies to both start-ups and traditional business enterprises. The basis is the same for both: clear priorities, quality delivered to customers and constant cost management."

More photos and impressions from the T-Systems Symposiums 2013 are available in the review of the Zero Distance Live-Blog.