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Red Hat is focusing on addressing enterprise software demands. In an exclusive interview, Tim Cramer, senior vice president, software engineering at Red Hat, explains how Red Hat will continue to be an enabler of change while evolving its approach to accelerate as the number one hybrid cloud partner.

Software engineering principles have changed over the years. How do these impact the development of Red Hat’s software products?

Red Hat helps organizations deliver IT services on any infrastructure quickly and cost-effectively with our broad portfolio of hybrid cloud infrastructure, application services, cloud-native application development and automation solutions.

As we’ve moved towards a digital era, there has been a shift in how enterprise products have been developed. Over the years, there have been advances in techniques which allow more predictability or higher quality, such as iterative development, pair programming and test-driven development. 

The rise of cloud computing and software-as-a-service (SaaS) has taken over as a de facto standard for many organizations’ digital transformation programs. Red Hat has transitioned from a company offering purely enterprise product to one which delivers services and enables rapid development in business value to customers, in addition to our traditional model of high-quality on-premise delivery. We employ a mix of techniques to develop our software today, and we've standardized an agile model with a hybrid delivery model for both SaaS and on-premises product delivery.

Improving the user experience is critical in today's modern era. How do you see Red Hat progressing further in providing unique value for its customers?

Since the pandemic, most organizations are well into their digital transformation. They stood up new technologies, launched new customer experiences and adapted to dramatic changes in both processes and culture. Digital transformation is not a product or a solution. It’s a continuous process involving new technologies and ways of working to compete successfully through continued innovation. It must encompass technology, culture and processes — in concert with one another.

Traditionally, companies place greater emphasis on solving technical issues and less on the user experience. Red Hat has been a leader in revolutionizing this area by creating user experience communities such as PatternFly, which include a toolkit that provides a consistent visual and interactive design and incorporates that into our product offerings. As Red Hat has transitioned to include more services, we've begun to focus more heavily in this area to provide an intuitive experience as well.

With cloudification and digitalization opted for by different sectors today, what is the key role of software in facilitating, securing and automating operations?

Sharing resources through hardwired connections is quickly being replaced with a delivery method that provides infrastructure, services, platforms and applications on demand across networks. Cloud computing is the act of running workloads within clouds, which are IT environments that abstract, pool and share scalable resources across a network.

Cloudification and digitalization utilize more services, lighter-weight containers and new paradigms for design, which result in more robust, scalable systems. That said, there’s no single, perfect cloud architecture or infrastructure. All clouds require operating systems — like Linux® — but the cloud infrastructure can include a variety of bare-metal, virtualization, or container software that abstract, pool and share scalable resources across a network.

As the industry grows more complex with vulnerabilities in software being discovered and exploited, it's caused a deeper focus on security. Red Hat has tackled this problem in a number of ways. We strengthen the move of customers to the cloud by partnering with the hyperscalers and providing our services and products in their marketplaces and making it easier to transact and purchase our software both as a subscription as well as pay-as-you-go.

We are leveraging hybrid cloud to allow customers to move applications at the right pace and enable those applications to run on any hyperscaler, regional cloud, or in their data centers on bare metal servers or private clouds. We have had the leading automation platform with Ansible for the last seven years, one of the top 10 communities in the world, whose partner ecosystem allows simple playbooks to automate anything you can dream of.

Red Hat has secure software supply chains for the development of our products since our inception and provides manual and automated remediation of vulnerabilities to all its products so customers can rely on the security of their platform.

From your perspective, which areas should Red Hat accentuate in order to adapt to enterprise software demands and requirements?

There are multiple areas we are focusing on to address enterprise software demands. Organizations that rapidly provide new digital services have advantages over those stuck in the past. But many leaders don’t know where to start. Red Hat can connect its teams with open technologies — from automation and hybrid cloud infrastructure to containers and app development.

Bringing technologies from the open source community and readying them for the enterprise benefits many open source communities and companies that are adapting to meet the needs of modern digital business. Technology pioneers like Red Hat introduce the future innovations that will shape the things to come – from the latest, most influential solutions across hybrid cloud, edge computing, automation, digital transformation and Kubernetes native.

Widespread digital transformation is driving our presence and influence in several areas of IT technology development across different sectors, and the open-source software and solutions we provide will continue to drive sustainability and success for enterprises moving forward. We help our customers innovate as they move to AI for differentiation and navigate 5G with agile and cost-effective, but powerful architectures at the Edge.

What is your outlook for software development in the coming years, and how will Red Hat maintain its reputation in this industry?

As most countries in the Middle East activate national digital transformation initiatives to drive economic diversification, open-source solutions will continue to gain momentum across the region. Open source is becoming increasingly omnipresent across the IT stack, particularly as organizations look to drive innovation while maintaining operational and cost efficiencies. It also continues to be the primary focus for Red Hat.

The use of open source will continue to rise as organizations increasingly adopt agile development frameworks and tools to modernize existing applications and build new, cloud-native applications or services. Red Hat will continue to be an enabler of change and better meet the needs of the global communications industry by evolving our approach to accelerate our commitment to be the number one hybrid cloud partner.

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