Digital transformation cannot be bought, it must be built

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The Campus in Johannesburg played host to Red Hat Forum South Africa 2018 today, with the open-source solution provider looking at digital transformation and how it will affect its enterprise customers.

More specifically SVP and GM for EMEA, Werner Knoblich, unpacked why an open organisation is better geared than others to cope with the impending digital transformation and the ever-present topic of disruption.

Hide at your own peril 

Knoblich points out that digitalisation is an inevitability and cannot be avoided, adding that those organisations that hide from its impending arrival run the very real risk of being left in the wake of their competitors.

The SVP also stressed that organisations cannot simply rely on purchasing new technologies in a bid to be ready for disruption and digital transformation. While new solutions are certainly a requirement, Knoblich believes it is only one part of a tri-pronged approach.

The other elements, and ones that a far more difficult to implement, are the enablement of agile processes within the organisation, as well as cultivating a collaborative culture.

These aspects are particularly tough for traditionally structured companies to bring to the fore adds Knoblich, with him noting that open organisations are far better at handling this as their bottom up structure is, “optimised for agility in an ambiguous world.”

It’s therefore becoming increasingly apparent to the Red Hat exec that the adoption of an open-source thinking within an organisation will make it uniquely prepared for the demands of digital disruption.

The tools of the trade

Shifting away from talk of the open organisation, Knoblich began to touch on the technologies that these organisations will be leveraging.

Naturally Linux was spoken about several times, with the SVP highlighting that in recent years it has become the most prominent platform that developers are designing on at the moment.

This, according to Knoblich, is as a direct result of its open-source nature, and its ability to communicate well with a variety of solutions on the market, remaining vendor-agnostic at the same time. It’s also why it forms the heart of the Red Hat enterprise offering, with Knoblich stating that it creates a clear abstraction layer to facilitate communication.

Another driver of Linux, and by extension Red Hat’s, success is the nature in which organisations are deploying their cloud requirements. It is the hybrid cloud that is growing in prominence adds Knoblich, with customers wanting to have a mixed environment of solutions.

This down to two main factors, with the first being that customers do not wish to be locked in to one type of environment of solution, and the second being a need to handle their legacy systems alongside the new offerings.

Opening up the enterprise 

In his closing statements Knoblich talked about what Red Hat brings to the enterprise, and while not punting the company’s solutions too vehemently, the key aspect that the company brings to the fore is openness.

This starts with utilising Linux, extends to adopting an open-source thinking to company structures and pioneering Kubernetes through OpenShift, he explains.

“We bring the future to the enterprise, which puts us at the centre of where the innovations happens,” concludes Knoblich.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.