In the latest quarter, IBM’s hybrid cloud revenue jumped 18% to $5.9 billion. At the same time, IBM recorded the strongest sales growth in 10 years. Much of this growth is due to its standalone Red Hat division. It’s true that Red Hat sales grew by “only” 12%, which is small by Red Hat standards, but very good by any other standards. So what is Red Hat going to do now that it has a new CEO Matt Hicks and chairman Paul Cormier?
In an interview, Matt Hicks, who has been with Red Hat since 2006, said: “We will continue to use the same fundamental principles that we created over 20 years ago. Why? Because the combination of Linux, open source software and top-notch support “continues to play a role in new markets, whether it’s moving to the cloud and cloud services or edge computing. Over the next two quarters, we’ll be focusing on execution. There’s a lot of focus now given to the open hybrid cloud.”
But it’s not just about the cloud, continues Matt Hicks: “We have a lot of opportunities. We are also working with General Motors on Ultifi, General Motors’ end-to-end software platform, and two days ago we announced a partnership with ABB, one of the world’s leaders in factory automation. It’s great to see Linux and open source technologies being used in these brand new markets in the industry. So my job is not to change anything, but to keep us going and taking advantage of the opportunities that arise. »
As for Paul Cormier, who will move from CEO to Board of Directors, he plans to be the first president in Red Hat history to have an office here. He will continue to promote Red Hat’s hybrid computing initiatives. After all, as Paul Cormier notes, “I dare say we were the first software company to start beating drums for the hybrid cloud.”
In the future, Paul Cormier will be “working with many of our clients and partners that I have always worked with, but helping them implement hybrid architecture more intensively.” Of course, “I will chair our strategic advisory board and work with management as a consultant, but I will also be very client-focused.”
It’s a much more active role than most presidents, but it suits Matt Hicks. “I had the opportunity to work with Paul for ten years,” says the CEO. “Paul gave us an incredible structure and foundation for IBM and a way we interact with IBM that I think is going to be really sustainable. »
As for cooperation with its distant parent company IBM, nothing will change here either. Paul Cormier states that “the red lines were red and the blue lines were blue, and that will not change.” Matt Hicks confirms this observation: “Not only for Red Hat, but also for IBM, it is important that we continue to remain neutral in the market. »
Red Hat will continue to invest in security
On the technical side of Red Hat and CentOS, Matt Hicks told : “I think it was a necessary change. I strongly believe that what makes open source work is a cycle of contributions, which was not the case on CentOS. »
Paul Cormier added that Linux’s biggest contribution to changing the early world was accessibility. Today, however, “this may be debatable, but I think perhaps even more important now is that innovation is driving this and needs input.” Without the innovation behind open source and Linux, there would be no cloud computing,” he says.
Red Hat will also continue to strive for Linux leadership and open source security. “We will continue to invest heavily in security. This is the foundation upon which Red Hat was built. The fact that you can receive open source innovations and deploy them with confidence. Nothing has changed in that regard, except that we certainly protect a lot more software today,” says Matt Hicks.
Following the SolarWinds attacks and other attacks on the software supply chain, continues Matt Hicks, “There is an increased awareness of the need to address this issue, whether through a secure specification or various open source security standards. We will continue to invest heavily in this area. We haven’t made any specific product decisions, but we know this is a critical area to further build customer confidence.”
When it comes to edge computing, Matt Hicks and Paul Cormier believe that we have moved from an era of obsessive attention to edge computing to an era of a more intelligent and practical approach to what it can bring to work. In the words of Matt Hicks: “We hope to be able to provide platform continuity, from the data center to the cloud to the edge, without resorting to integrated edge devices. The economics of this solution is not very interesting for us, but the connected economy is where we think there is more innovation and opportunity.”
And Paul Cormier adds: “In the old days of Linux, financial analysts would sit at the back of the room with their calculators and calculate the number of servers times X dollars per server? This is not the case for Red Hat. »
Instead, continues Matt Hicks, “We expect 800% built edge applications to increase by 2024. We want these applications to be part of an open hybrid cloud. We believe we have a unique opportunity to connect endpoints to the resources you have in your data centers and in the cloud that you use to run your business today.”
Together, both leaders see good times for Red Hat, its partners and customers.