This week, IBM announced its intent to acquire Red Hat (read the press release here), making a huge leap into open source and hybrid cloud, and doing so in a way that a more traditional IBM may have never considered — by embracing openness and connectivity with others.
With arguably the strongest open source community, Red Hat has already figured out how to leverage the power of community to further technology. No longer do the best ideas have to come from the engineers in the ivory tower. Open source communities continue to drive innovation, accepting contributions from a wide array of talented individuals whose passion is furthering technology, not enterprise value. The community is not constrained by budgets or quarterly financial results. The community is focused on technological advancement.
The new normal
Hybrid cloud also represents a departure from a traditional, insular, enterprise focus where a bias towards IBM technology was how business was accomplished. By entering a hybrid cloud world, IBM no longer has to fight a displacement battle to win share. Instead, they can now work in collaboration with other cloud providers, including the client’s on-premise computing infrastructure, to enable solutions that are decreed by the client, as opposed to those that IBM may prescribe. Recognizing that the hybrid cloud is the new normal for clients is a huge step for IBM and how they approach and interact with clients.
The Salesforce acquisition of MuleSoft (which adds the capability to connect to all means of applications) and the IBM acquisition of RedHat (which adds the capability to connect to all means of infrastructure, as well as embrace the open source community) reveal unmistakable macro trends. The traditional walls of enterprise software and computing infrastructure are being reshaped to be more open and allow more connectivity.
We, at MRI Software, see the world through the same lens. Embracing openness and connectivity are keys to the future of technology. Organizations who continue to try to do it all themselves, who are insular, and who don’t play well with others will continue to fall behind the community of providers who know that we can do better together.