Red Hat 2016 predictions

By Damien Wong, Senior Director and General Manager, ASEAN, Red Hat

Open source will continue to gain momentum in 2016 and beyond, as the preferred way for new technology development in the region. The impact of technology on the world has never been so pronounced the way we are seeing it today. As IDC predicts that virtually all of enterprises’ new strategic IT investments through 2020 will be built on 3rd Platform technologies and solutions, and the key role that Open Source Software (OSS) plays in driving 3rd platform technologies make Open Source even more of an imperative for enterprise innovation.  We are also seeing a strong influence of open source technology on cloud and mobile applications to IoT. Organizations today have a great opportunity to reap the full benefits that OSS offers.

Damien Wong

Damien Wong

As more enterprises turn to OSS, there will be a greater emphasis on creating more open source talent and skillsets in ASEAN.  IT Professionals will continue to seek greater training and certification opportunities to meet this increased market demand for such desired skillsets.

As the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) comes into effect in 2016, businesses will have to adapt to make use of the opportunities that this economic integration brings. Specifically, Malaysia will be chairing the ASEAN group, and will be looking to solidify its role as a regional leader in ICT infrastructure development[1]. As such, we expect open and hybrid technology to rise to the forefront in 2016, and companies will have to take advantage of this change to gain an edge in this competitive world.

  1. Trends in the domains of: storage, system management technologies, cloud computing, platform, virtualization, middleware, storage, system management technologies

As the region gets ready to embrace new technology, here are some of the trends that we are observing in the market:

  • Open source is fast becoming the preferred way for new technology development. With the rise of market-disrupting companies like Uber where open source technology drives innovation, many traditional market-leaders are increasingly looking to adopt OSS technologies to keep up with the pace of change, and hopefully gain competitive advantage.
  • Internet of Things (IoT): As IoT becomes increasingly pervasive, there are associated challenges that Enterprises will need to address in order to take advantage of the innovation in this space. Issues such as the tremendous amount of data that will be generated and hence the exponential costs associated with storage, the move to microservices and the relevance of container technology, are some of the IoT-related challenges that Enterprises will need to overcome to be successful here.
  • Additionally, we expect open, hybrid cloud technology to garner even greater mindshare in 2016. Enterprises are showing a growing interest in building hybrid cloud solutions that spans both on-premise and off-premise resources to deliver the best of both worlds – the public cloud economics and agility, as well as strong policy management of the private cloud. In addition, as more enterprises focus on delivering what Gartner terms “Mode 2” workloads as opposed to just the traditional “Mode 1” legacy workloads, the need to adopt scale out technologies like OpenStack and Ceph will increase.
  • We’re also seeing that mobility is becoming a top priority for enterprises – as it promises to be the key in driving innovation, and streamlining operational efficiency. However, this inadvertently creates a challenge for IT, as mobility demands collaboration on faster, continuous development cycles, openness to new toolchains and architectures, and integration with existing core systems.

 Open source technology and its adoption in Malaysia and the region.

 According to a recent Black Duck survey, 78 percent of respondents said their companies run part, or all, of its operations on Open Source Software (OSS), with two-thirds saying that they take an open source-first approach to software[2].

In Malaysia, many of the government agencies, commercial banks and telecommunication companies rely on Red Hat’s open source offerings to propel their revenue growth. To illustrate, the Melaka State Government and Infrastructure conglomerate, YTL Corporation, are examples of customers that have entrusted Red Hat to provide leading open source solutions to complement and enhance their growth.  In addition, with the growing sense of uncertainty in the economic situation in the region and beyond, even more enterprises will be turning to OSS to help them do more with less in the ICT space.

Red Hat’s footprint in Malaysia and the region

In July 2015, Red Hat announced the opening of its subsidiary in Malaysia to further strengthen relationships with customers, partners and also to realize the potential of open source adoption across industries. The Malaysia subsidiary joins Red Hat’s Singapore and Indonesia offices as one of the key hubs in the Asia Pacific region. Having a local presence enables Red Hat to work closer with customers and partners, and helps the company better understand and address their needs and concerns. Our goal is to cultivate a healthy open source environment in Malaysia, as well as encourage small and large enterprises to embrace open technologies.

Last month, we announced the launch of our virtual training center program for Asia Pacific to help bring online training and real-time courses on Red Hat technologies to customers, partners, and IT professionals. The goal of this new initiative is to make access to training on Red Hat’s open source technology simple and quick, helping to eliminate the limitations of having to travel training in a single location and train more people on Red Hat technologies, to help prepare participants to meet the requirements for Red Hat certification. We believe that this initiative will go far in terms of creating a heightened appreciation and awareness of the capabilities of open source in the region.

 Potential portfolio/sectors in Malaysia for Red Hat

Malaysia, and ASEAN as a whole, is an important market for Red Hat. Even with an increasing number of industry players embracing Red Hat’s open source solutions, we are still constantly looking out for verticals which can utilize our open source solutions for a competitive advantage. While it is true that we have greater penetration into certain industry verticals like FSI and telecommunications, our value proposition is applicable regardless of industry or organization size.

One recent example of how our value proposition extends to other vertical sectors would be the recent announcements regarding our engagements with Singapore’s first liberal arts college, Yale-NUS. Instead of taking the traditional approach to IT infrastructure, Yale-NUS opted for an open hybrid cloud-based solution due to its flexibility, scalability and cost effectiveness.

We are also extremely encouraged to see that the Malaysian government is a strong advocate of open source and has put in place a public sector open source software (OSS) procurement preference policy under the Malaysian Public Sector Open Source Software Masterplan, which helps us further augment our agenda to reach out to a wider range of industries.

Key highlights for 2015

Other than the opening of the Red Hat Malaysia office, we also hosted the annual Asia Pacific Red Hat Forum, which kicked off in Jakarta, Indonesia on 17 September, and spanned across 11 cities such as KL, Singapore, Seoul, Tokyo, Beijing, Mumbai and next month we go to Manila for the finale event. We are pleased to have established new partnerships with Samsung, Microsoft, Yale-NUS, as well as recently launching our virtual training program for Asia Pacific.

All in all, 2015 was a great year for open source. More companies are shifting towards OSS – for instance, Apple moved its corporate IT workloads from VMware’s ESXi to KVM, which is also the open-source server virtualization platform that is at the heart of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV)[3]. As more companies move to open source platforms, it shows that open source is increasingly becoming the preferred platform that companies trust.


[1]                      IDC, Malaysia ICT 2015 Top 10 Predictions from IDC, 11 Feb 2015

[2]                      BlackDuck, 2015 Future of Open Source Survey Results, 2015

[3]                      Bloomberg, Apple Goes Open-Source, 9 June 2015

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