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IBM CEO Ginni Rometty’s 5 Biggest Statements At The Red Hat Summit

‘Working together is the right word. Coming together is not necessarily the way I would describe this,’ IBM CEO Ginni Rometty said about the acquisition during a keynote with Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst at the Red Hat Summit. ‘Jim and I have both agreed—Red Hat should stay an independent unit.’

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What Most Excites Rometty About Technology and Red Hat’s Role

Whitehurst: You probably have a better view of what enterprises, what governments, what any large institutions are doing with technology. What most excites you, or what do you see that's really exciting in the future? And then, obviously, how might Red Hat and open source play a role in that?

Rometty: I've had my own experience in reinventing IBM and continuing to, and I see so many other companies out there. I honestly feel we're all at the beginning of a journey, where the first part, there's been a lot of experimentation with lots of interesting technologies, but not as much scale of really true transformation yet. We're kind of now moving into that, so whether it's to scale AI, move mission-critical work, really change the way work is done. It is so fundamentally true that unless you change how people do their work, nothing really changes. It's not to sprinkle technology in there. So I see everybody and so many of our clients, they're kind of right at that stage from experimentation to true transformation right now.

What I think is particularly exciting—the possibilities out in the open-source world—we've been talking about cloud, so that's obviously one, because I think that gives you just a wonderful platform to develop on, run anywhere, bring as much innovation in as you want. You and I agree one thousand percent. The next one would be all of the different forms of AI that are out there … but trusted AI. The purpose is to augment man. The purpose is data should be owned by its owner, and AI that's ethical, explainable, free of bias. I think there's a wonderful opportunity there to put that in workflow. Things like blockchain, the work that's been done in Hyperledger—it's actually in the Linux Foundation.

I'm a big believer that it will take some time, but blockchain can fundamentally change most supply chains. I see the work already we've done with a hundred different companies on food safety. It's another form of open source that I think is really valuable.

I see coming in front of us, just from a technology perspective to reinvent how work’s done, things like quantum. We’ve built the world's first quantum computer offered on the cloud—11 million experiments— but we made a really interesting choice this time. All the development language is open source, it's QISKit. It is all out there and open source. That is where all that innovation will come from. So I see all these technologies, they’ll just layer in. But now we're at this moment of fundamentally people trying to rethink what it is they do—build a platform of their own, with data of their own, and then rethink how their work is done and put all this AI and these other technologies in it. So I think it's a perfect moment.

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