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Tapping on open source for innovation: Red Hat interview

Zafirah Salim | Dec. 23, 2015
In this interview, Damien Wong, General Manager and Senior Director, ASEAN, Red Hat, shares some trends and predictions of open source, as well as talks about how businesses can better tap on open source to leverage its benefits.

In your opinion, what is the major impact of open source in the IT industry?

In the past few decades, we have seen open source emerge not only as a game changer but as a major disruptor for the IT industry. It has shown how companies - both big and small - can become more innovative, nimble and cost-effective by building on the efforts of community work. As a model that promotes universal collaboration, individuals around the world can now work together to create products that were not possible before.

In fact, the SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud) stack has changed the way organisations perceive and deliver innovation; and open source software has emerged as the driving force of this technology innovation. Red Hat believes that our open source offerings are a catalyst that are enabling new deployments and migrations, which encourage a larger ecosystem of compatible hardware and software solutions.

We have also seen companies like Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Twitter, eBay, Netflix and other web companies use open source to power their business. It won't be wrong to say that innovation often comes from openness.

Also, if you look at the impact of open source across industries and organisations, we will realise that it has not just evolved the way we approach, explore, and consume technology - it has also affected the nature of how we conduct our businesses.

Why should enterprises choose open source software over other proprietary options for their IT applications?

The open source model provides an inherent level of transparency and choice that contrasts with the proprietary software model; and it provides avenues for driving new technology innovations.

Today, agility and flexibility are core tenets of businesses, and the usage of open source software offers IT leaders the platform of flexibility and agility for their enterprise. Open source software also provides freedom from vendor lock-in, thus ending vendor dominance. This shifts the power of technology from IT providers to the people using it.

Migrating to open source technology also helps improve infrastructure and application performance, and significantly helps to cut costs. When you're not constrained by proprietary technology, you can meet customer needs faster, more efficiently, and with greater precision.

Enterprises using proprietary software often struggle with too many expensive platforms, applications and vendors. Legacy technology slowly eats away at returns and makes it hard to respond to customer demands. These challenges limit how quickly businesses can scale for new opportunities. As such, we believe that open source software is a viable and arguably superior alternative to traditional proprietary software.

Our customers use open source solutions every day to overcome challenges just like any other enterprise. Red Hat's solutions help our customers be more competitive, cut costs, boost product development and even lift their bottom line. And as part of the Red Hat ecosystem, they have the added advantage of being connected to other customers, our partners, and the open source community. And we believe that's how innovation happens.

 

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