Open source – the origin of modern innovation

Aiming to blend inspiring content with the way that Red Hat do things, the Red Hat Forum – which took place in Johannesburg and Cape Town this week – set out to inspire customers to think about where the possibilities of open source can take them.

For Red Hat, open source is about much more than just technology. It’s about a culture with a desire to connect, while harnessing the power of technology to do it, and according to Dion Harvey, Red Hat Country General Manager for South Africa, it’s a key part of who and what Red Hat is and is how they make their software.

Open source spans way beyond computer software and is rather a smarter way to build software.

“It’s our production line, and it’s the way we build the technology we use. More than that it’s about open ways of working, open ways of thinking, and that’s relevant to every industry. There is no vertical that doesn’t need the idea of openness and the broadening of thinking and doing things in a different way,” said Harvey.

A new way of thinking and working

Contrary to 10 years ago where open source was relegated to certain parts of the business because it was perceived as a risk, open source is perceived completely different today.

It’s becoming apparent that in companies that are either being challenged through disruption or companies that want to be on edge and change the way they do things, embrace open source as a software platform, a way of thinking, and a way of working.

“In the financial services industry, where there is a lot of disruption going on, they are thinking open source first now, because it gives them a competitive edge. It gives them tools and ways of thinking that break the traditional boundaries,” said Harvey.

Opens source has gone from being a fringe technology or fringe way of building technologies to the place from which modern innovations are coming.  Developments in modern innovations, such as big data and artificial intelligence, are all stemming from open source foundational technology and is according to Harvey currently one of the primary trends in the open source space.

“We absolutely believe that the key trend in open source is that right now innovations are happening faster in spaces that are using open source ways of working and thinking and the reasons are simple – there are more minds devoted to open source projects than any single vendor can muster, and that has to be a good thing,” said Harvey.

A lot of the open source technologies are also creating the ability for open hybrid clouds and depending on where you are – early starter or well advanced – that’s the next major shift in the computing paradigm, of which open source is at the heart of.

Open source is not just about the cool technology. Many customers fail, as they think the technology in itself will answer all the questions, but never address the way they work, change their culture, and embrace the full value of what open means.

“DevOps is also a cool buzzword, but what it really means is people working together across traditionally two spaces that didn’t necessarily always work together. It’s nothing more than just collaboration, open thinking, and being willing to understand each other’s worlds, and harness the power that comes out of that collaboration,” said Harvey.

In the open source space and as a software company, Red Hat is the largest open source software company in the world, said Harvey. “We base our model purely on open source, and a big part of our history comes out of Linux. It’s how we started and is an extremely important technology for us, and still forms a big part of the basics for our customers.

Red Hat’s thinking on cloud is open hybrid. Open in the sense that you can go anywhere, which is also essentially the promise of cloud, allowing customers to move workloads and applications, and hybrid, because everything will never be in just one place.

“Customer need to challenge the way they think, choose technologies that won’t lock them in or limit their capabilities, and I firmly believe that we have a portfolio that uniquely addresses the requirements of those who want to be successful in an open cloud environment,” said Harvey.

“We challenge every Red Hat associate to think about their personal why, and if they can feel they’re in a place where they can work and connect with our values and feel that there’s a purpose, they will leave inspired and be one step closer to unleashing their full potential,” concluded Harvey.

For more information, visit the Red Hat website.

Dion Harvey, Red Hat Country General Manager for South Africa

This article was published in partnership with Red Hat.