My time at CeBIT is almost always like time traveling. I have just returned from my trip to the expo in Hannover and, while looking out of the window of the German high-speed train with fields and trees showing first signs of the spring racing by, my mind traveled back in time.

CeBIT has been a highlight every year for me. It’s a mythical gathering for innovation, technology and business, where you would expect large queues of people and chaos on the streets. You may remember 20 years’ ago that Progressive Networks announced "Real Video" enabling us to watch TV over the internet. AOL was still a superstar and SAP changed its strategy with a modular SAP R/3 approach. Cloud, digitalisation and even cybersecurity were still far away. The times have changed significantly –  not only for the IT industry but for CeBIT itself.

This year was different though. There were no large queues or chaos in the streets. Honestly, entering some pretty empty halls this year was a kind of shocking – where were the people? What has happened to our CeBIT? OK, it was just one hall but it took me some time to recover from that shock. However, in another (more lively) hall, it was great to see the new IoT trends, smart home automation, autonomous driving cars and industry robotics.

And of course Japan… Japan was the partner country this year at CeBIT and it was fantastic to see our parent organisation NTT Group take a large booth at the Japan pavilion. NTT Group  showcased its state-of-the-art programs, and its policy of supporting the digital transformation of corporations and societies, working in the background in collaboration with various partners for B2B2X businesses.

What was more transparent than ever before was this: times are changing fast and we need modern and agile security strategies to support this transformation. So, I'm sure I will time travel again ... a new CeBIT is coming!