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CeBIT 2009, 3 to 8 March - Webciety responsible for radical changes in business and society

29.01.2009: * CeBIT reveals impact and opportunities of Internet revolution * Mass market for open-source software and eLearning Intelligent Web services, social networks, open platform standards and infotainment offerings on demand will be characterizing the Interne

    * CeBIT reveals impact and opportunities of Internet revolution
    * Mass market for open-source software and eLearning

Intelligent Web services, social networks, open platform standards and infotainment offerings on demand will be characterizing the Internet of the future. And from 3 to 8 March, CeBIT 2009 will be showcasing all aspects of the second Internet revolution and the resulting impact on society and business. The Webciety is a topic which embraces all segments of the CeBIT exhibition program; it will also serve as the keynote topic at the 'CeBIT Global Conferences' on 6 March, featuring numerous big-name speakers.

Ten years ago the phrase 'let's stay in touch' had a completely different connotation than it does today, thanks to the impact of instant messaging, wikis, blogs and social networks like Facebook. But it isn't just private communication, but also business processes that are being transformed, as improved communication and more intensive employee cooperation among employees are facilitated by Enterprise 2.0.

And the Internet is also providing a great deal of opportunities for eLearning, as 'eLearning 2.0' grows to comprise an array of language training podcasts, forums and blogs. Another key concept involves 'blended learning,' i.e. continuing education concepts which combine different types of learning - for example, so-called 'webinars': meetings of trainers and pupils at an appointed time in cyberspace.

At Bavarian high schools, the online classroom has already become a reality: In a program supported by the State Ministry of Education, teachers can offer their students password-protected access to educational materials at www.bayernmoodle.de.

Dynamic growth reported for open-source code and Web-based software
Some 85 percent of all enterprises already have programs with open-source code on their computers. The remaining 15 percent plan to do so within the next year. These statistics are among the impressive findings from an international Gartner survey of companies of varying sizes, from varying sectors. Respondents cited the main open source advantages as consisting of lower software costs, lower development outlay and the ease of getting involved in new IT projects.

Open content is growing at a similarly rapid rate. According to the latest FAZIT study (a research project for current and leading-edge information and media technologies and their use, based in the German state of Baden-Württemberg), freely available information and entertainment offerings like Wikipedia are challenging several traditional business models. This represents yet another area in which the Webciety is causing some systematic changes, in response to which CeBIT has launched a special display segment: 'CeBIT Open Source'. This special segment is supported by the Linux Foundation, a non-profit institution dedicated to promoting the further development of Linux software.

An additional CeBIT topic consists of applications which are not stored on a local computer, but rather on an Internet server ('Software as a Service'). According to a Gartner survey, this market segment grew by 27 percent in 2008 to reach a total volume of over 6.4 billion dollars. The market researchers expect this market volume to double over the next four years.

eRecruiting helps companies find young talent
Despite the economic downturn, the job market is already experiencing the impact of the demographic shift: Qualified career starters are in short supply in a number of areas. Companies who do their job recruiting on the Internet have a better chance of finding the right people. According to the 2008 Jim survey conducted by the Southwest Media Education Research Association (mpfs), 97 percent of young people between the ages of 12 and 19 use the Internet, with two thirds of them even using it daily.

Online communities are a popular vehicle for making new social contacts, with over 70 percent of young people visiting this type of website every day or several times a week. New job-hunting services like the Berlin-based Younect (www.younect.de) combine the advantages of an online community with up-to-the-minute eRecruiting processes. Company blogs and microblogging services also deliver excellent results for future-oriented enterprises.

A pioneer in this field is the California-based start-up Twitter (www.twitter.com), whose platform can be used to send messages of up to 140 characters via text messaging, Instant Messenger, e-mail or from a website. This service is free of charge - using either a Web browser or a special Twitter client.

The Webciety will also be leaving its mark on our daily working environment. In the office of the future, the only trace of computers will presumably be the touchscreens on people's desks.

The software and data will all be stored somewhere on the Internet, accessible worldwide via a number of different communication devices - from mobile phones to so-called 'netvertibles' (mini-notebooks with swivel touchscreens). And needless to say, thanks to unified communications services, all devices will always be kept completely up to date. CeBIT 2009 will be revealing many exciting scenarios from the next communications revolution.

 

- Deutsche Messe, Hannover -

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29.01.2009 / MaP

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