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Next week the tech world will descend on Las Vegas for the conference that consumes the city – the Consumer Electronic Show (CES). It is crazy, it is crowded and my feet already hurt thinking about it.  At first you may wonder why an enterprise company like SAP would go to a consumer electronics event, but just think about it for a moment…

  

If you look at the consumer market over the past two years it has been the birthplace for many game changing technologies. CES is the venue where the industry gets excited about the products, trends, and technologies that make their way to the workplace. And that’s why I’m excited to be a part of it. I’ll be there with a team from SAP including our CIO Oliver Bussmann and members of the SAP App Haus team responsible for building extremely cool mobile apps for consumers.

Here are my pre-CES hilights; some of the specific things I am looking forward to exploring at the show.

  1. An Explosion of Connected Gadgets CES is known as the gadget show. Some say that 2013 will be the year of the gadget startup. Hardware is cool again – I think in part due to the advent of crowd-funding and the rise of the hyper-connected world. This is a very exciting area for SAP as we often talk about the “Internet of Things” and our increasingly connected world. We expect the explosion of connected devices and associated data to significantly impact the enterprise in the years to come. Our own CIO has predicted that Machine to machine (M2M) communication will become a reality in the enterprise in 2013.
  2. Will the PC industry prove it’s not dead? I saw this subject line in a great article by Jon Fortt and I had to borrow it. Many agree that CES is morphing into a wireless
    and mobile show, but is the PC really going to die off?  Is the mobile device the center of our digital galaxy? Is the tablet going to replace the laptop? I can’t wait to see what the mobile vendors and PC vendors are planning to launch at the conference. I know that whatever they announce will make its way to work soon enough.
  3. Samsung Rise up as a Leader. Since 2012 was Microsoft’s last CES, many expect Samsung fill its shoes when it comes to big news. There are lots of articles suggesting Samsung will be unveiling flexible displays (which sounds pretty cool to someone who has lived with cracked screens) and some other “secret” news (have you seen their video teaser?) Regardless of what Samsung launches at CES, SAP is excited to be partnering with such an
    innovative company. You’ll often see SAP and Samsung together at events and seminars and on webinars, talking about our fantastic enterprise solutions. More to come in 2013!
  4. Consumerization of IT Becomes the Norm SAP CIO Oliver Bussmann will be onsite at CES to stay on top of the news coming from the consumer world and to start thinking about how he will address it. In a recent blog titled “30 Executives Share Their 2013 Predictions”, Oliver predicted in the next 12-18 months, we will see the Consumerization of IT become the norm in the enterprise and CIO will need to meet this trend head-on. In order for IT organizations to stay relevant, they will have to adapt by building organizational competencies that exude speed, flexibility, security and closer ties to the business.

CES remains the best place in the world to take the pulse of the consumer electronics business – and I would argue the best place to get an early look at what the enterprise will be thinking about in 12-18 months. Stay tuned for my post-show report!

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