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“When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.”

Those sobering words of wisdom are attributed to Benjamin Franklin, but they would be a good mantra for any modern business or IT leader to live by. Why?  Because in today’s digital age, dealing with constant change is a fact of life. It’s being driven by customer expectations, new business demands, and competitive pressures and it’s not about to stop any time soon. It comes with inevitable risks, and challenges that have to be addressed, but also with massive opportunities just waiting to be exploited.

Dealing with change has to be a top business priority. IDC predicts worldwide spending on digital transformation will soar past $1 trillion this year. Much of that investment is being spent on transforming IT infrastructure and processes, which are fundamental requirements for any digital transformation project. Frankly, you can’t do one without the other and traditional data centers simply won’t cut it any longer. They are simply too rigid, slow and difficult to adapt.

What is IT transformation?

To transform means to remodel, recreate, revitalize, rejuvenate or revolutionize. That’s what many organizations are looking to achieve by adopting a software-defined infrastructure, designing new cloud-native applications and by deploying those workloads to a cloud platform.

However, that doesn’t mean traditional data centers will be disappearing anytime soon. The vast majority of enterprise workloads are still hosted in existing data centers and they represent a substantial investment that can’t easily move to the cloud. Most IT leaders believe a software-defined infrastructure is the future for their data centers. Much of the data center can be successfully transformed into private clouds with all the automation, functionality, agility and cost-effectiveness we’ve come to expect from public cloud platforms.

Open Source is part of the Journey

It’s worth noting that open source is now at the core of both IT and digital transformation strategies and projects. This is because the open source communities are where most of the innovation is coming from. It’s also because the open source model has major advantages over proprietary approaches that simply can’t be ignored any longer. Open source solutions such as Linux, OpenStack, Ceph, Kubernetes, Cloud Foundry, and many others have all taken leadership roles.

In fact, open source has become increasingly prevalent even in proprietary software. A recent audit of 1,000 commonly used applications in the enterprise found open source components in 96% and made up 57% of proprietary codebases. Given this situation, it comes as no surprise that hiring open source talent is now a priority for 83% of hiring managers[1].

Definitely a Journey, Not a Destination

IT Transformation is definitely not a one-off project. It’s not a case of building a plan, executing against the plan and then you’re done. Oh no! Change is not going to slow down and it’s certainly not going to stop. Business disruption, whether it’s from technology, customer demands or competitive pressures, is going to keep coming, faster and faster. We all need to keep on transforming and adapting, or we’re finished.

As Winston Churchill succinctly put it; “to improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often”.

Need a little help with your own transformation journey? Take a look at the white paper: “Open Source at the Heart of IT Transformation” to learn more about the role open source has to play in your IT transformation journey.

[1] Source: Linux Foundation. The 20185 Open Source Jobs Report


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