Red Hat CEO Pitches Open Source for Innovation

What can open source do for you? Quite a bit, according to Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst, who made an emphatic pitch for crowd-vetted technology as a path to innovation, not to mention a possible preemptor of Toyota’s recent woes.

Speaking at the Open Source Business Conference, Whitehurst argued that “innovation will slow significantly if we don’t see further adoption of open source.” Linux Planet has the story.

SAN FRANCISCO — The economy may still be in the doldrums, but Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst said pitching the cost savings of open source software doesn’t necessarily seal the deal with enterprise customers as it once may have.

“Last year I was here talking about the advantages of open source in a down economy,” he recalled during his keynote here at the Open Source Business Conference (OSBC). “Open source is driving a lot of innovation in IT, and I would argue that innovation will slow significantly if we don’t see further adoption of open source.”

Whitehurst said being able to offer lower prices is always a good thing when selling to enterprise CIOs, but with budgets largely fixed he said companies like his can offer more. “What’s sold to customers better than saying ‘We can save you money’ is to show them how we can give you more functionality within your budget. That’s a challenge CIOs get,” he said.

Speaking more broadly, Whitehurst made a pitch for open source solutions throughout the supply chain, manufacturing and industry and society as a whole. Touching on a topical news story – Toyota’s recall woes – he said he believes the company’s initial evaluation that its problems are not related to electronic parts failure. Rather, he implied it could be a software problem hidden away behind closed code.

Read the full story at Linux Planet:

Red Hat CEO Says Innovation Trumps Cost Savings

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