The future of the cloud

Practice shows that free and open source software (FOSS) in the cloud sector does not prevent competition, but rather enables it. This is attractive for top talent and also offers numerous advantages in terms of the trustworthiness of IT systems. But how exactly do such FOSS systems work? This was discussed by high-ranking cloud experts in our Cloud Transformations working group (March 2024).

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The future of the cloud: a look at the past Cloud Transformation working group

In a world that is increasingly characterized by digital solutions and cloud technologies, the question of sovereignty, security and collaboration in the cloud is coming into focus. In particular, the role of free and open source software (FOSS) is becoming increasingly important. At the last Silicon Saxony “Cloud Transformation” working group, precisely this topic was highlighted. Under the title “Strong community despite competition: How cloud ecosystems can function on an open source basis”, leading minds from the industry demonstrated innovative ways in which sustainable solutions can be developed using FOSS approaches.

We are delighted to now be able to make this event available to you “on demand”. Please note: The video content is in German – English subtitles are available.

What to expect

Three keynote speeches by well-known personalities provided the working group with plenty to talk about for the subsequent panel discussion and get-together. Working group leader Sven Jänicke from ZEISS Digital Innovation hosted the evening and put questions to the experts Marius Feldmann (COO Cloud&Heat Technologies and Chairman of the Board ALASCA e.V.), Stefan Ilaender (Managing Director STACKIT Platform Products & Support) and Kai Martius (CTO, Member of the Board, secunet Security Networks AG).

Expert insights

Marius Feldmann opened the event with an inspiring presentation on the topic of “Together we are stronger! Open source ecosystems as the basis for real innovation”. He emphasized the importance of a vibrant open source ecosystem that makes it possible to bundle different competencies across company boundaries and thus drive the development of sovereign, secure and digital solutions.

Stephan Ilaender guided the audience through the transformation of the Schwarz Group from a discount grocery store to a tech giant. With STACKIT, the Schwarz Group is pursuing the vision of shaping an independent Europe as a digital leader. His presentation impressively illustrated how companies can break new ground through innovative approaches and open source technologies.

Kai Martius closed the lecture program with his presentation “Blind trust or full insight? How open source creates trustworthiness in a cloud for state secrets”. He highlighted the special requirements for the trustworthiness of IT systems, particularly with regard to state secrets, and showed why open source plays a central role here.

Panel discussion and outlook

The presentations were rounded off by a lively panel discussion. They discussed the accessibility of solutions, the transformation to open source ecosystems and the importance of transparency and trust. The participants emphasized the added value of open source solutions, also taking into account the economic efficiency of companies.

Looking to the future, it is clear that the move to the cloud is inevitable. European providers can reduce dependence on more distant service providers. Proximity and trust in local technology providers can help with complex developments in particular. The high level of vertical integration that the domestic ecosystem already offers us is crucial here.

You were unable to attend the working group or are interested in the topic. Here you can get an exclusive insight into the event  Video


The “Cloud Transformation” working group event provided an exciting insight into the world of open source-based cloud ecosystems and showed how they will shape the future of the cloud. The discussions and presentations emphasized the importance of FOSS for innovation, security and collaboration in the cloud industry and encouraged further discussion and action. The working group always welcomes new members and active participation in shaping the cloud transformation.

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Further links

👉 Cloud Transformation Working Group

Sven Jaenicke
Leader working group Cloud Transformation
ZEISS Digital Innovation |

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This article was published exclusively as part of NEXT “In the spotlight: Software”. The embedded video was created with the kind support of ZEISS Digital Innovation, HTW Dresden and Cornelius König.

👉 To the complete issue of the magazine

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