Red Hat CEO: We've Entered A New Era Of Collaborative Innovation

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The open source community has become a greater engine of information technology innovation than have traditional, proprietary sources of IT development, Red Hat president and CEO Jim Whitehurst said in his keynote speech Tuesday, opening his company's annual customer and partner conference.

And he warned IT executives face the threat of vendor lock-in if they choose to buy from vendors that continue to develop products using "closed, proprietary" processes.

"A technology choice around your cloud infrastructure today is an innovation model choice for the next decade," he said.


[Related: Red Hat, Progress Software Enter The PaaS Software Competition]

"The paradigm around innovation, how we invent, how we create new things -- that paradigm is changing," he said during his speech at the Red Hat Summit in Boston. "We're moving from a world where most innovation, most creativity, happens by individuals or small groups of people within one company, to truly open innovation, to mass collaboration, to crowd sourcing."

Red Hat always has been a standard bearer for the open source community, with its distribution of the Linux operating system and other open source products such as its JBoss middleware.

Whitehurst argued that the community approach to development that's been a hallmark of open source software is fast becoming the new paradigm for all innovation -- not just in technology, but also in such areas as health care and education.

"We're literally looking at a new paradigm for how we create things," the CEO said. "We've hit an inflection point where we're actually seeing more innovation happening in information technology in open communities than we're seeing in traditional proprietary communities."

"I would argue that today most transformative innovation we're seeing is coming out of open [source] communities," he said, pointing to the Hadoop big data platform, the Cassandra NoSQL database, and other open source technologies.

NEXT: Red Hat CEO Warns About The Long-Term Implications Of IT Buying Decisions

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