Open Source Is Inspiring Digital Transformation

Thomas Di Giacomo

Today, many companies face the challenge of preparing their IT infrastructure and processes for digital transformation. IT environments that have grown over many years cannot adapt to digitization requirements in one swoop. This is often evident when companies outsource certain applications to new IT infrastructures – such as (hybrid) cloud scenarios – while other workloads continue to run on the existing IT infrastructure.

To ensure everything functions smoothly, any new solutions deployed must support integration or at least be compatible with legacy systems while enabling migration over time. Open source software is becoming an increasingly common way for businesses to make their digital transition successful.

Bridge between old and new

Open source software is considered the engine of digital transformation. This is because:

  • Open source software is not bound to proprietary license costs.
  • It is always up to date, and often more innovative and forward-looking than proprietary solutions.
  • Open source software is carried and further developed by a global community of developers and numerous manufacturers.
  • Having multiple expert eyes on the open source code also ensures that security gaps are discovered and closed quickly.

Digital transformation with open source: a team effort

In order to have a successful digital transformation, companies can’t just dive into the realm of open source software without knowing how to use it effectively for their business and in tandem with their existing IT environment. That’s why it’s important to have a dedicated development and operations (DevOps) team in place for effective communication and collaboration between product management, software development, and business operations.

With DevOps principles, companies can implement agile working methods and continuously improve their products. At the same time, effective collaboration in DevOps teams reduces and possibly eliminates traditional silo mentality and simplifies communication between development, operations, and quality assurance (QA). This makes employees more flexible and promotes innovation.

On the technical side, companies need transparent, measurable tools that enable maximum automation and change – like the software-defined data center/infrastructure or OpenStack cloud – both of which originate from the open source environment. This enables automated testing and incremental development, which is why containers and software-defined infrastructure (SDI) also deliver the foundation for DevOps. This example also illustrates that DevOps would not be conceivable without the open source environment.

Rely on the right partner

Many companies have IT environments that have been operating for decades. So during any digital transition, it’s crucial to have an effective DevOps team partnered with the right open source and enterprise Linux provider to help create a suitable infrastructure environment and serve as a bridge builder into the digital age.

Enterprise open source and Linux providers can help create the necessary preconditions for digital transformation of an enterprise IT environment for the following reasons:

  1. They have expert knowledge of open source software.
  1. They have been instrumental in closing the gaps between open source solutions and established systems since 2000.
  1. They have been working with the underlying innovative development methods of open source approaches for years, which gives them a deep understanding of DevOps principles like continuous delivery.

Companies with legacy IT environments cannot realize the benefits of digital transformation immediately – and they don’t need to – because step-by-step migration to DevOps, cloud native applications, and cloud infrastructure is possible. Companies should rely on the right partner to ensure that the migration – which can take years – runs smoothly.

Learn more about partnering with an enterprise open source and Linux provider.

About Thomas Di Giacomo

Dr. Thomas Di Giacomo is Chief Technology Officer at SUSE. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Geneva, and has over 15 years of experience in the IT industry serving in various global leadership roles in engineering and product innovation. He has expertise in open source platforms, development, and support of global information systems and technologies applied to various industries such as telecommunication, hospitality, and healthcare.