Go digital or die: tech expert

Business is undergoing “a digital miracle,” information technology heavyweights said Sunday as the world’s largest tech trade fair was getting under way.

“Whoever fails to set a course for the future now is disappearing quickly from the market,” Dieter Kempf, the president of Germany’s Federal Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media, said on the opening day of CeBIT in the northern German city of Hanover.

Media companies and retailers have already experienced the trend and it will be the same for carmakers, machinery makers and taxi drivers, he predicted.

“It is digitalization that is driving the market,” he said.

CeBIT will be officially opened Sunday evening by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Deputy Prime Minister Ma Kai of China, the fair’s partner country this year.

Jack Ma, the founder of China’s Alibaba, which undertook the world’s largest public offering last year, will also speak at the opening.

Organizers said they expect 200,000 visitors and 3,300 exhibitors from 70 countries at the fair, which runs through Friday.

Kempf’s association advised businesses seeking to thrive in the digital age to avoid dependence on one business strategy and master important key technologies, saying “more digital sovereignty” is needed.

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Go digital or die: tech expert