July 18, 2019

‘Digital transformation is essential for survival’

PUBLISHED : November 06, 2018 - 16:17

UPDATED : November 06, 2018 - 16:17

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[THE INVESTOR] The domestic cloud market is expected to grow at a fast pace in the near future as related regulations in the government and financial sectors where the deployment of such services is strictly limited are expected to be relaxed as early as next year.

Global cloud powerhouses, such as Amazon Web Service, Google and Microsoft, are eyeing to expand their presence in the local market, and so is Red Hat, one of the top players, especially in the hybrid cloud and multi-cloud solutions segments.

In a meeting with reporters in Seoul on Nov. 6, Damien Wong, general manager of Red Hat’s Asian growth and emerging markets, stressed the importance of digital transformation to have an upper edge in the imminent cloud era.

Damien Wong, general manager of Red Hat’s Asian growth and emerging markets.

“As a result of digital disruption which is happening now, we see most traditional enterprises are looking for ways to address this disruption,” said Damien Wong, referring to some of the companies, like Uber, Airbnb, and Nextflix, which have been successful in challenging traditional companies.

He said, however, only a few companies are actually taking bold steps despite the threats, urging firms to speed up the pace of transforming their organizational structures and businesses into more flexible and agile ones that fit the digital era.

“Over the last 25 years since Red Hat started the open source movement, many companies did not believe that it was a viable way of delivering innovation to enterprises, but now they have become big proponents,” Wong said, mentioning the company’s partners HP, IBM and Cisco and Microsoft.

Korean telecommunications firms, which currently face steep competition from over-the-top, or streaming, services providers, for example, are some of the traditional companies that need digital transformation to survive.

Cloud solutions, which allow access to data anytime and anywhere, can help the telecom firms in collaborating with more external partners to achieve innovation.

Touching upon the latest announcement of IBM’s planned takeover of Red Hat, Wong said the open source solutions firm will operate independently without changing its commitment to principles.

“IBM has 380,000 employees, so it will be an opportunity to scale up our solution offerings with greater presence of the IBM organization, as well as to accelerate the adoption of open source solutions provided by Red Hat,” he said.

The Red Hat general manager met local reporters on behalf of Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst, who canceled his visit to Seoul at the last minute due to IBM’s planned acquisition of Red Hat.

Big Blue announced on Oct. 28 that it plans to take over the open source software firm for US$34 billion. Market watchers see the acquisition as a last-ditch effort by IBM to increase its presence in the cloud area and better compete with larger rivals, including AWS and Google.

By Kim Young-won (

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