The Federal Association of IT Medium-Sized Companies (BITMi) and the Federal Association of Medium-Sized Enterprises (BVMW), together with the eco-Association of the Internet Industry, launched the “Germany can go digital” campaign on Wednesday. They want to demonstrate the efficiency of the domestic IT industry and show politicians in the super election year what is still missing on the way to digital sovereignty.
The coronavirus pandemic has shown everyone the need for action. BITMi President Oliver Grün spoke of an important challenge in maintaining the IT industry, which he describes as the “prosperity industry”, and thus also the digital ability to act in Germany and Europe. That means “not to use Microsoft or Zoom or Salesforce, but products that come from Germany”.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be the router from Huawei, if the Fritzbox does exist, explained Grün. No local company is forced to order cloud services from Amazon, Microsoft or Google if Nextcloud can be booked in this country. “Germany can do digital“wanted to focus on success stories Made in Germany. He was therefore pleased with the supporting “wake-up call” from Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), which has just launched an offensive for more digital sovereignty with the heads of government of Estonia, Denmark and Finland.
The campaign website cites a few examples of privacy-friendly video conferencing and crisis communication as well as products for digital trade, construction and administration. At their presentation, the Aachen startup Edudip advertised its zoom alternative, which “strictly” complies with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Cloud & Heat from Dresden brought its water-cooled data centers supplied with renewable energies into the race.
The political demands of the campaign relate, for example, to expanding the digital infrastructure, strengthening key technologies and promoting digital education. The state should become a pioneer in areas such as open data, blockchain and artificial intelligence. His valuable treasure trove of data could be the basis for new business models for companies and the basis for expanded research opportunities for science.
Grün emphasized that politics must also show where the limits of the GDPR lie, i.e. when measured values are actually anonymous and can thus be used more freely. Experiment fields in the form of “sandboxes” are also necessary in order to be able to try out technical innovations in a protected test environment. The state must reduce the “madness in bureaucracy”, as it has shown itself in the broadband subsidy program.
BVMW managing director Markus Jerger said that Germany shouldn’t fall back into the Middle Ages: “Digital means being vital.” BVMW consultant Eva Mattes complained that little had been done with the expansion of broadband: Some companies in rural areas still do not even have an Internet or telephone connection. The European cloud project Gaia-X sees eco-managing director Alexander Rabe as a blueprint for digital sovereignty, which should now be transferred to other areas.