Opinion piece from Muggie van Staden, MD of Obsidian Systems.
Following several mergers and acquisition this year, 2019 will see open source investments starting to pay even more dividends. Given how it has become the driving force behind much of the world’s cloud-based systems, companies need to keep a close eye on the open source trends that could impact their strategies for the months to come.
With deals such as Microsoft and Github as well IBM and Red Hat, this open source-driven environment will see organisations in a position to take the best aspects of these businesses and come up with something truly great. Thanks to the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the resultant explosion in data points, companies understand that they need the resources of cloud-based systems to extract the most relevant insights.
The days of relying exclusively on proprietary solutions to do this are long gone. Open standards have become part of the approach many organisations take towards implementing technology innovation. And those that have not done so yet, will soon follow as they seek to find relevance in an increasingly digital (and connected) world.
This will also likely impact the cost of solutions. Using open standards is resulting in products being developed faster as data is analysed in virtually real-time. Understand what customers want and providing the customisation to do so, have become integral to the operating environment today. And the secret to this must be the open source foundation on which this is built.
The imminent arrival of several international data centres in South Africa (two from Microsoft and one from Amazon Web Services) will have a significant positive impact on the local market. This not only shows those sceptical of the cloud that investments are being made, but, more importantly, South Africa is viewed as a platform for growth into the rest of the continent when it comes to the cloud (and open source).
The evolving landscape is seeing business requirements also shifting. Next year will see a veritable land rush for position in the cloud environment. More C-suite decision-makers are open to going, well, open, and vendors and service providers are clamouring for market position.
Providing even more impetus for this is the recent launch of what many consider to be South Africa’s first truly digital bank. Focusing on ‘behavioural’ banking, all its systems are cloud-based highlighting the security, availability and redundancy of going this route. Moreover, it is built on open standards all but giving the death knell to those who think proprietary is still the preferred method of doing business.
This year will be an intriguing one to see where the cloud and the open standards approach will be heading. Strap in and enjoy the ride.