As far as major events go, the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos is as big as they come.
For a few days in January every year, business, political and academic leaders, as well as other leaders of society gather to shape global, regional and industry agendas. It is an opportunity for the movers and shakers of the world to gather to discuss the most pressing issues facing the world.Technology plays a big role at Davos, with many tech leaders using the platform to share concerns and ideas with the world.
Top of this year’s list of concerns was the ongoing controversy with the NSA, with the likes of Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer and Cisco’s John Chambers adding their thoughts on the debate. Most of the calls were for more openness from the US government on the extent of surveillance, setting new rules and rebuilding trust.
Apart from NSA, other tech companies used Davos to share some news and thoughts. In case you missed any of them, we’ve put together a short list of the most exciting tech stories to come out of this year’s event.
1. The Internet of Things will be worth $19 trillion by 2020
According to Cisco CEO John Chambers, the internet of everything will be worth a staggering $19 million by 2020. He claims this will be the result of people buying more connected possessions as well as the savings created when systems and infrastructures are more efficient.
2. Yahoo: We will have more mobile traffic than PC traffic by the end of 2014
According to Marissa Mayer, 2014 will be a tipping point in the evolution of the internet. Mayer said: “when you look at mobile, when you look at the bandwidth, when you look at the Internet of things, it’s going to change everyone’s daily routines really fundamentally.”
3. Total privacy is impossible
BT chief executive Gavin Patterson caused a bit of a stir when he suggested that telecoms customers cannot expect total privacy. Although he admitted that there needs to be an overhaul of what information national security agencies can access, he also said that people recognise that they have to give up some of their privacy to be protected.
4. Lenovo buys IBM’s low-end server business
Lenovo has said that its decision to buy IBM’s low-end server business for $2.3 billion instantly puts the company into the top ranks of the sector. Despite speculation that the deal indicates a move away from the PC business, Lenovo claims the agreement advances its so-called PC Plus strategy of becoming the biggest computer maker in the world, whether the device is a laptop, a smartphone, a tablet or a server.
5. Huawei to continue European push
After spending $3.4bn buying components, engineering and logistical services from Europe last year, Chinese IT giant Huawei has reported that it expects to continue increasing its spending in Europe. According to Huawei deputy chairman Ken Hu, “With full confidence in the future of Europe, we will continue to invest in this region, [and] co-operate with European industry players”.
In the words of Salesforce CEO, Marc Benioff, “it is usually the Nobel laureates at the World Economic Forum doing the economic review and we took their spot this year because technology is really important.” The tech space has never been as exciting as it is now and it is good to see that this is being reflected beyond tech circles and onto the global space.