My friend and colleague, Vajira published a post summarising his technical keynote on “Open Hybrid Cloud: The Foundation for a Robust Digital Transformation” as part of Red Hat Summit Connect last year.
There are key takeaways from the post and you should read that first before continuing here.
The widespread adoption of open source software over the last 30 years, and the support of developer communities have been critical in enabling the the usage of all things digital across all industries – I refrain from using the relatively meaning-deficient phrase “digital transformation”.
Even if someone is not aware of that they are using open source software, they are deriving significant benefits by doing so. Most of you reading this could well be aware of the unique trait of open source software – the ability to access, read, understand and modify the source code.
This allows organizations to customize and innovate in ways that proprietary software does not (never would) permit. Remember, this is 2023 and not 1993.
This is especially important in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, where the ability to quickly release new features and updates is essential for staying competitive.
In addition to the ability to access and modify the source code, open source software also often has the advantage of being more secure and reliable than proprietary alternatives. This is due in part to the fact that the code is open for review and testing by a wide community of developers, rather than being developed and maintained by a single vendor. The support of a strong developer community also leads to more rapid resolution of issues and quicker integration of new features. The latter bit could even involve the users as well.
A digital platform is the foundation upon which the solutions that an organizer needs is built. It should be flexible and able to work with a variety of technologies and standards, allowing for seamless workload migrations.
It should also prioritize integration and extension of existing business applications, automation for self-service and life cycle management, with security built-in and enforced by default. The open hybrid cloud, which combines the benefits of both public and private clouds and allows for the integration of on-premises solutions, is one option for a digital platform that meets these criteria.
By utilizing the unique benefits of open source software and the support of strong developer communities, organizations can build a resilient and durable foundation for our collective digital future, which is now.
As organizations customize the software to fit their specific needs and use cases, rather than being limited to the functionality provided by any vendor, the organization gains flexibility in the fast-paced and constantly evolving digital landscape. The ability to quickly release new features and updates is essential for staying competitive.
The support of a strong developer community is also critical for the success of open source software. These communities provide a wealth of knowledge and resources, including documentation, tutorials, and forums for discussion and collaboration. They also provide a platform for sharing best practices and identifying potential issues or challenges. By participating in and contributing to these communities, organizations can not only benefit from the expertise and insights of other developers, but also have the opportunity to shape the direction and development of the software.
The adoption of operating models such as DevSecOps and SRE (Site Reliability Engineering) play a critical role in building resilient and durable digital foundations. DevSecOps is a philosophy and set of practices that emphasizes the collaboration and integration of development, security, and operations teams throughout the software development lifecycle. This approach allows organizations to release software faster and with fewer errors, while also increasing the security and reliability of the software. Similarly, SRE is a discipline that focuses on building and operating highly reliable systems, with the goal of minimizing downtime and ensuring the availability and performance of critical services. By adopting these practices, organizations can improve the speed, reliability, and security of their software releases.
The open hybrid cloud, which combines the benefits of both public and private clouds and allows for the integration of on-premises solutions, is, I will attest, the best option for digital platforms to meet these criteria. By utilizing the unique benefits of open source software, working with strong developer communities, and adopting operating models such as DevSecOps and SRE, organizations can build resilient and durable foundations for their digital futures.
Unstated here is perhaps the fine balance between open source PROJECTs and open source PRODUCTs. Organizations can innovate rapidly by participating in open source projects and potentially also deploy them into production, but that takes a very strict discipline of DevSecOps and SRE to succeed.
This is where Red Hat adds significant value to the enterprise ecosystem by ensuring that open source PROJECTs that are of value and interest for enterprises are provided to as open source PRODUCTs. For some insights, here’s a talk I delivered in 2019 at geekcamp.sg: tinyurl.com/Product-Project