Photo - David Yap, Country Manager for Red Hat Malaysia & Brunei
In the past decade, we have seen countless business and technology trends focused on driving the innovation process in this ultra-competitive world. Factors such as globalisation and outsourcing have created the need to push towards improving efficiency and effectiveness. At present, businesses need more than good products to survive; they require an innovative process that can drive down costs and improve productivity. It is undeniable that the ability to innovate by finding ways to developing new business models and tailoring products for the ever-changing market is vital to the success of organisations everywhere.
The drive for success has resulted in an increasing number of organizations taking a leap towards business transformation as they cautiously select their innovation model for the future. We have seen across industries how innovation enables businesses to increase efficiency and productivity through the development and adoption of new technologies. Looking at the progress of many companies in the past few years, I would say that we are presently at a point where introducing innovation has ended and opportunities posed by existing technologies are being maximized.
In Malaysia, we are seeing many of the most innovative solutions result from collaborations between local businesses, government bodies and global players. These collaborations, deemed 'collaborative innovation', have seen a boost since the setting up of Malaysia's Innovation Agency unit (AIM - Agensi Inovasi Malaysia) in 2010 under the Prime Minister's Department. AIM's Innovation Business Opportunities (IBO) programme has attracted 'bids' from interested companies to take new products and services to market in various fields such as agriculture and education to technology, electronics and electrical sector to financial services.
One common noticeable factor amongst those in the collaborative innovation space is the way in which companies are choosing technology to intensify their productiveness. Major deciding factors used to be about features, functionality, and price point, but that is no longer the case for many organisations. When we speak to potential and existing customers, we are increasingly seeing technology decisions being made on the belief in the next generation technology - and open source is often at the foundation of this.
In a survey conducted during the recent 2014 Red Hat Forum in Kuala Lumpur, more than 70 percent of respondents confirmed that they use open source within their organisation. To me, this reinforces that companies with IT-driven business innovation are increasingly looking at the use of technology to optimize business strategy and customer engagement. From public to private sectors, education providers to mass market retailers, more organisations are seeing open source solutions as their de facto choice, rather than just an alternative. We are seeing open source enable innovation in new areas such as mobile, cloud, big data, and applications.
When looking at this from a business point of view, customers that are modernizing an infrastructure around open source can also experience compelling economic benefits. This transformational technology journey is also bringing more intelligence and mobility to operations and products, and many key decision makers are pursuing IT-enabled business innovation as a core strategy throughout their organisations.
Given the imperative to establish IT executives as full strategic partners, companies need to work at building stronger bonds between the IT department and business units. No doubt, organizational change is difficult, as should be evident to anyone who has attempted to shift the balance in IT work from mostly tactical to mostly strategic. The time to start realizing that shift is now for any company hoping to achieve competitive differentiation.
As a driver of transformation and innovation in Asia Pacific, Red Hat will continue to foster stronger collaborations by bringing together innovative groups, partners, customers and open source communities in the days to come in hopes of pushing boundaries and being an accelerator for IT-driven business innovation in Malaysia.