Agility, transformation, innovation: why cloud and open source should work together

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Agility, transformation, innovation: why cloud and open source should work together
Open source allows enterprises to disassemble, rebuild and customise technology.
Photo by Luke Southern on Unsplash

Open source technology is the backbone of a strong and intricate cloud strategy, with many companies catching on to this.

Microsoft acquired GitHub in 2018, while IBM acquired Red Hat, both in an attempt to catapult open source development capabilities. Both industries are growing as well. Open source is expected to reach USD 66.84 billion by 2026, up from 21.7 billion in 2021. Cloud on the other hand is expected to reach USD 1,251 billion by 2028.

While they are separate technologies, deals and growth like this reflect the growing embrace of both, as well as a growing embrace for the thinking that encompasses open source – a prioritisation of democratising technology. But what impact does open source have on cloud and why should cloud be relying on open source more?

Open source enhances agility

Utilising open-source, rather than a closed-source or proprietary code, leads to greater agility. Now more than ever, as hybrid work necessitates rapid digital transformation, having enhanced agility is essential. Through this agility, enterprises are able to adopt and adapt cloud strategies in order to innovate, boosting competitiveness and an organisation’s bottom line.

With digital transformation being propelled forward because of the pandemic – by 3-4 years to be precise - enterprises must invest in new technology to keep up and remain efficient. Leaning into closed-source software and cloud technologies that are nicely packaged and served by a single vendor places some limitations on an enterprise’s ability to remain agile. It prevents quick-fire updates, customisability and adaptation.

Open source allows enterprises to disassemble, rebuild and customise technology to meet very specific, localised needs without starting from the ground-up. Open source provides enterprises on their cloud transformation journeys with technology that will help them go forward, reverse, learn from shortcomings and iterate with intention.

It builds skills and expands the talent pool

According to a SalesForce report, Australia needs 156,000 more digital technology workers by 2025. With a skyrocketing demand for tech skills unlikely to lessen, cloud technology that employs open source opens the floodgates to a wider talent pool, as many individuals can work on the same technology, bringing their best assets and knowledge to the table. With these skills, I believe we will see organisations’ cloud transformation journeys accelerate, driving better outcomes for all.

Collaboration boosts transformation

Open source fosters collaboration because it is free and open to others by its very design. The open source ethos democratises access to coding, so coding needed to create cloud infrastructure can be continuously worked upon by a number of individuals and providers. If cloud technology were to be built, adapted and managed by an individual or a single company, the results would follow slower, reducing an organisation’s digital transformation efficiency. Open source allows providers and individuals of all backgrounds and locations to impart their skills to address complex problems. If companies embrace open-source code and the know-how of open source experts to design a perfectly tailored cloud strategy, companies can become more competitive and use data to take advantage of various cloud capabilities. When open source meets cloud, we will see digital transformation propel forward, helping businesses stay ahead of the game and their competitors.

Open source harmonises with multi and hybrid cloud

Once upon a time, cloud environments were singular. In 2021, enterprises are digitally transforming by adopting multi-cloud and hybrid cloud infrastructure. Rather than using one cloud provider to meet all your enterprise’s needs, they utilise various cloud solutions for different workload needs. Given this shift within cloud technology, I hope enterprises recognise that open source offers a host of benefits to this rather complex technology. Open source offers the great benefit of being compatible with other cloud environments and can be adapted to suit very specific, individualised requirements.

Heightened innovation

These days technology should be viewed holistically in that organisations should no longer adopt a one size fits all solution to manage their cloud infrastructure, or any of their technology needs. With the open source ethos, collaboration fosters innovation. It is this very ethos that we’ve seen already transform a host of areas: banking, IoT industries, even space travel. The one size fits all, closed source way of thinking should be put to rest. By utilising a greater pool of skills and talent to solve issues and by democratising access to coding to build cloud infrastructure, open source can help accelerate the rate at which cloud technology can be developed, adapted, deployed and managed. This speed is what will allow us to see miraculous developments in technology, cloud and beyond, open source being the major key to unlocking the door to this innovation.

Peter Liley is CEO of Instaclustr.

Copyright © BIT (Business IT). All rights reserved.

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