This article was originally published on Technology.Info.
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At the most successful IP EXPO Europe yet, attendees were spoilt for choice when it came to hearing from some of the IT industry’s most influential figures.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, kicked off the show with an impassioned plea for the continued freedom and independence of his invention, twenty-five years after he drafted the original proposal that lay down its foundations.
“When the Web first started, no-one could imagine that you could click on a link and to go anything in the world,” he told a full house of captivated attendees. “The value and excitement of the Web is what we can build on it, and the mind-blowing creativity it has enabled over the last 25 years. But to continue to do that, we must keep fighting to keep it a platform without central control.”
“The reason I could take something called the World Wide Web and let it loose on an unsuspecting Internet was due to the fact that it was an open network. I didn’t have to worry about how the Internet worked, and the Internet didn’t have to worry much about me either. That’s why we have to keep fighting for Net Neutrality.”
It was a punchy start to two days of over 300 seminars at IP EXPO Europe, Europe’s biggest cloud and IT infrastructure event. Watching the Web inventor speak at the back of the Keynote Theatre was Hadoop inventor, Doug Cutting, now chief architect at Hadoop distribution company Cloudera. Later, he told Technology.info that he had first met Berners-Lee while working at Xerox PARC (the company’s Palo Alto Research Center) in the early 1990s, when the two had offices located on the same corridor.
Cutting’s own presentation, ‘Pax Data’, took a frank look at data privacy in the age of big data, and how society will, over the next few years, be setting the stage policy-wise for the next century.
Other influential speakers on Day One included Mark Russinovich, chief technology officer at Microsoft Azure, and Bruce Schneier, chief technology officer at Co3 Systems. “A sufficiently motivated, funded and skilled hacker will always get in [to systems],” the latter told attendees.
The speaker line-up for Day Two was no less impressive and just as well received. From the customer side, attendees had the opportunity to hear presentations by Robert Teagle, EMEA IT director at coffee chain Starbucks, and Owen Pringle, former director of digital communications at human rights charity Amnesty International. Also appearing were Liam Maxwell, chief technology officer for HM Government and Unilever’s Global Privacy Officer, Steve Wright.
In fact, across the more than twenty theatres and 300 seminar sessions, there wasn’t much that didn’t get discussed at IP EXPO Europe when it came to the show’s key themes of cloud, mobility, security, analytics, infrastructure and data centres.
But as a recent survey of 300 IT directors and managers show, conducted by Redshift Research on behalf of IP EXPO Europe, more information and education is always welcome. In particularly, the survey found that respondents feel that their organisations are being held back by inadequate technology infrastructure (62% of those surveyed) and a lack of IT skills (65 percent).