Speaking at the opening keynote for the Red Hat Summit last week, CEO Jim Whitehurst stressed that open isn’t just a marketing slogan, it’s the only way that modern IT companies can survive.
“Open collaboration is the social technology that underpins our ability to move from client server to the cloud social era of computing,” Whitehurst said. “With the closed model you’re guessing what customers want and can only leverage the ideas that you come up with yourself.”
In Whitehurst’s view, the new paradigm of how things are created is where we can leverage the wisdom of the crowds. At some point in the last year or two, the industry has hit an inflection point where more innovation is happening in open communities than what is coming out of traditional proprietary communities.
In the beginning of the open source era, however, incremental innovation was the norm. For example, many initially viewed Linux as a better implementation of Unix and MySQL, as an incremental innovation of a database.
With the emergence of cloud, Whitehurst argued that all of the core innovations are coming from open source, except for one.
“Name an innovation that isn’t happening in open source – other than Azure,” Whitehurst said.