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Outlook 2022: “Fostering New Generation of Open Source Professionals”

Adrian Pickering, the Regional General Manager for MENA at Red Hat, says demands for open source technology will continue rising exponentially

How was 2021 for the industry and your company?
This year has certainly been another vibrant period for the open-source industry. Across the MENA region alone, open-source has driven widespread innovation to greater heights by providing freely accessible software to gain and share knowledge, empower people and organizations to learn from others, and present opportunities to showcase innovation. Countless organizations that have used open-source code have interacted with, and become empowered by, a vast community of developers.

Through open-source, we have seen an abundance of projects evolve in 2021 having been introduced in different verticals, immediately becoming a part of their respective industries. And because open source code is freely accessible rather than being embargoed internally, many people and organizations have adopted and contributed to code – bringing new ideas, fresh perspectives, greater creativity, and unlocking innovation potential through an open-source mindset at the regional level.

Red Hat has contributed to these ever-folding trends throughout 2021, providing new and existing customers with the open source technologies, services, and solutions they require to meet their organizational and transformational objectives.

What were your key achievements in 2021?
This year, Red Hat has helped local, regional, and international organizations initiate and progress their modernization and transformation initiatives, quickly create new applications, and devise new hybrid and multi-cloud strategies. During this period, we have also proceeded with and completed the very latest essential updates across our services and solutions portfolio, introducing new offerings in the process.

These updates have empowered us to deliver an even more seamless and unified experience to enterprises, one that includes application development, delivery, integration, and automation across hybrid and multi-cloud environments. Furthermore, we have continued driving our academic alliance agenda forward.

We have worked with academia like always, providing constructive learning opportunities through invaluable, practical educational platforms. These have enhanced youth training and development in countless roles, helping unlock people’s potential and empowering them to contribute not only to personal, professional, and business development, but also development at the industrial and national levels.

What promises does 2022 bring along?
One thing is for certain when looking ahead to 2022, the MENA region’s digital transformation journey will continue progressing at a substantial rate. Together with 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), big data analytics, the internet of things (IoT), and more, open-source technology will be in greater demand than ever before.

These technologies will help enterprises, industries, and governments accelerate their digital migration operations, enabling them to realize performance and sustainability aspirations with even greater speed, scalability, efficiency, and effectiveness. Open source and emerging technologies aside, development in other areas also promises to unfold as envisaged, not least in the areas of autonomous mobility and smart cities development.

Do you see opportunities in the regional markets with new markets opening up?
In open-source terms, it’s clear that many opportunities can be explored extensively across regional markets. For example, when looking at government processes, workloads, and servers, these are coming under pressure due to factors including increased remote working, digital channels, and heightened data collection.

Therefore, modernizing legacy applications and infrastructure to scale and update more easily while balancing costs is essential. This can be accomplished with open hybrid cloud and open source solutions that offer simplified deployment, on-demand scaling, automation, and reduced costs.

Additionally, streamlining operations, optimizing existing IT, developing and delivering apps faster, improving processes with automation, and enhancing security are all simultaneous transformation benefits that await thanks to open source-related opportunities.

According to you, which technologies will be in demand in 2022?
Looking ahead, demands for open source technology will continue rising exponentially in 2022. Whether it be for public or private sector purposes open source technology is a key enabler for fostering innovation. And by driving innovation in a fast manner, open-source bridges the digital divide empowers people and projects and enables youngsters and organizations to unlock their full potential through corporate action and social activism. Therefore, 2022 will see governments and organisations explore open source even more extensively as a platform for innovation and overcoming digital disruption.

On the subject of technology demands, it’s important to note that the convergence of new technologies – AI, Blockchain, IoT, and big data analytics included – are all contributing factors behind the vast benefits of open source. With digital transformation and the cloud becoming more and more mainstream across the region, demands for this technology through open source solutions are also sure to increase.

What will be your key focus areas for 2022?
For Red Hat, there are several key focus areas in 2022, one being to foster new generations of open source and technology professionals. The digital skills gap is widening dramatically as the digital transformation journey accelerates at an unprecedented rate. And although governments and business communities across the region are looking ahead to the vast potential and possibilities certain to accompany the new digital era, there is an urgent necessity in the present to ensure up-and-coming talent are equipped to succeed in technology-driven environments of the future.

In 2022, it is imperative that we make sustained and substantial progress in bridging the digital divide. It is a real possibility that next year, over 130 million new roles will have emerged worldwide within a two-year period due to the co-existence between humans, machines, and algorithms. Therefore, qualified personnel in large numbers is essential, so the full potential of innovation can be realised.

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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