The power of open source: why it underpins digital transformation

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It’s not possible to go very far in IT without encountering the term “open source”. For non-IT people, open source is simply software for which the source code has been made freely available for modification and enhancement by anyone, with its creator waiving any rights to profit from its use by others.

Open source software is ubiquitous. Source code controls the computer programs and applications that our technology runs on, making it part of almost everything we do—from the cars we drive to the mobile phones we use.

The Android operating system that powers most of the world’s smartphones is open source. Android is based on an even more widely used open source operating system: Linux, created by Finn Linus Torvalds in the early 1990s.

Community development is key to the success of open source. The more people have access to the source code, the easier (and faster) it is to find and fix mistakes and add improvements. This enables the software to evolve through the collective efforts of many developers.

WHY ORGANISATIONS CHOOSE OPEN SOURCE

Innovation and security rank among the top benefits of using enterprise open source solutions.

IT decision makers almost always have to closely examine the cost of solutions. Enterprise open source has long excelled in cost savings. But enterprise open source is being increasingly used not because it’s cheaper, though it often is, but because it’s genuinely better software that fosters innovation, provides better security, and delivers higher quality outcomes.

Organisations benefit from its community-driven upstream innovation and enterprise-level support, which helps them more safely use open source technology.

THE OPEN SOURCE MARKET

The open source market is huge and is continuing to grow exponentially. In September 2019, Statista valued it at USD17bn and it is forecast to double in size to USD30bn by 2022.

Software organisations, like Red Hat, have been built by adding value and support to open source software and are major contributors to the continuous development of open source software.

Red Hat works together with users and customers worldwide to offer stable, security-focused, and robust open source solutions. In the spirit of collaboration, Red Hat declines to enforce its patents against open source users.

When innovative technology organisations have the option to choose open and accessible code over limited, restrictive code, they are more often choosing open.

A Red Hat sponsored blind survey of IT leaders from across the globe, the 2020 State of Enterprise Open Source, found that 95 percent of respondents said open source was strategically important to their overall software strategy, up from 89 percent a year earlier.

In parallel, respondents reported a decline in proprietary software usage, down to 42 percent of all software from 55 percent a year earlier, and predicted it would be down to 32 percent in two years.

It was further found that IT leaders choose enterprise open source because of its higher quality software, lower total cost of ownership and better security.

THE PATH TO OPEN (DIGITAL)TRANSFORMATION

Digital transformation is, or should be, a high priority for any organisation. More so now as the world grapples with a pandemic.

Many enterprises are having to reimagine their pre-COVID digitalisation strategies. We’re now past the emergency response stage, and it’s important to acknowledge that an effective digital transformation needs to be agile in order for enterprises to weather any future crises.

Open source plays an even bigger role during such times, as open organisations are more agile, accountable, engaged, and better prepared to respond to external forces, and to evolve.

Changing and adapting crucial technology alone is not transformation. It must encompass technology, process, and culture—in concert. Technology and process change must happen alongside cultural change. Culture is often ignored or underappreciated, imperilling the transformation initiative.

Red Hat’s “open transformation” approach to digital transformation addresses technology, process, and behavioural changes in parallel by taking into consideration the following aspects:

  • Open culture improves how teams collaborate and communicate to evolve in response to changing technology landscapes.
  • Open technology provides the modern, secure toolset that allows teams to deliver innovative work faster while maintaining the flow of business.
  • Open processes improve speed to market and quality by breaking down divisions and building efficiency into every facet of business.

Red Hat eBook on Digital transformation, the open source way, explains open transformation in further detail.

THE RED HAT ADVANTAGE

With more than two decades collaborating on community projects and protecting open source licenses, Red Hat is committed to open source to create more stable, secure, and innovative technologies.

Whether customers are adopting new solutions or managing infrastructure, Red Hat helps them standardise and streamline their software resources, enabling them to grow and transform their businesses using production-ready code, life-cycle management, software interoperability, and access to experts.

Some of the world’s largest companies rely on Red Hat for their technology needs, with names that include IAG, ASX BP, ExxonMobil, Ford, BMW, Deutsche Bank, Cathay Pacific, Siemens, Lockheed Martin, and many more.

ANZ Bank, for example, engaged Red Hat Open Innovation Labs to build collaboration skills in its NZ operations. The bank’s team found new ways to connect with other teams for more effective work, established a foundation for the creation of team culture and collaborative planning, and reduced time for a key provisioning process from six days to five minutes.

Don’t miss Red Hat Forum – the open source event of the year

Red Hat Forum Asia Pacific 2020 has gone virtual. From the comfort of your home or office you can bring yourself up to date on the latest open source innovations and best practices enabling the future of enterprise technology.

Hear from Simon Sinek, renowned author and futurist that developed the idea of the “infinite game” and the “infinite mindset”.

He’ll explain how leaders who embrace an infinite mindset build stronger, more innovative, more inspiring organisations, and lead the rest of us into the future.

Trond Abelseth, Head Of Digital at Viva Energy, one of Australia’s leading fuel suppliers with over 1150 retail outlets, will explain how Viva used APIs and containers rapidly implement contactless payments.

Hear from Ramanathan Mullainathan, Standard Chartered Bank’s Global Head Of Technology in conversation with Josep Garcia, Red Hat’s Vice President and General Manager, Asian Growth & Emerging Markets.

There’s much, much more on all aspects of open source over the two days of Red Hat Forum Asia Pacific 2020: helpful advice on making the most of open source from Red Hat and other experts, and case studies from major organisations that have made open source a key part of their IT strategies.

Red Hat Forum Asia Pacific 2020 runs from 9:15am to 3:30pm AEDT on October 21st and 22nd

Register here now

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