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by Guy Martin (Red Hat)

Transforming Organizational DNA – sounds like a lofty goal brought down from the ivory towers of an MBA or marketing program, doesn't it?

While it is a lofty goal, the way companies utilize technology is fundamentally shifting, and savvy organizations realize this transformation is now well under way.  In a recent keynote at the Open Source Business Conference (OSBC), Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst gave a talk that highlights this trend. He touched on the explosion of computing power, plummeting costs, and the near ubiquity of technology that was simply not available even a few years ago.

In 2012, most IT executives have already seen aspects of what Jim was talking about. There's no longer any question that Linux and open source provide real enterprise options — these are not only robust and secure, but are viable alternatives to proprietary solutions. Despite this recognition, a recent Sonatype survey found that over half the respondents didn't have a corporate open source strategy/policy.  Even this far into the 'Age of Open Source,' policies to help corporations effectively and strategically consume open source are not the norm.

In addition to consuming open source, enterprises need to go deeper to transform their IT DNA. To help them do this, while realizing all of open source's value, we've created a structured, yet flexible consulting offering called the Pathway to Open Source Enablement. It addresses three fundamental aspects  – Consume, Collaborate, Create as well as a central core of Strategy & Governance. Here's a picture of how the pieces fit together:

Transforming Organizational DNA

This offering's strength is its ability to allow customers and our consultants to build a custom package that makes the most business sense.  It also allows us to 'teach organizations to fish,' rather than just 'give them a fish.'  Even if an enterprise isn't quite ready for full transformation, we can focus on more immediate needs in any combination of these areas:

  • Consumption
    • Education/Assessment
    • Product/Technology Adoption Strategy
    • Governance
    • IP/License Compliance
  • Collaboration
    • Community Identification
    • Community Interaction Mentoring
  • Creation
    • Contribution/Governance Models
    • Community Identification
    • Shared Control Strategies

By now, if your company is facing any or all of these issues, I hope your curiosity is piqued. At the same time, you're probably wondering: "What do I get for my money if I decide to bring Red Hat into my organization to deliver this service?"

Our goal is helping your organization move its culture and processes along the right track to take optimal advantage of open source's business value. Because of this, Red Hat Consulting doesn't just produce reports with high-level recommendations.  We also provide specific, tactical 'on-the-ground' expertise as we help grow an open source community of practice within your enterprise.  Make no mistake, this offering is about helping companies effectively utilize ALL open source, even products and technologies not offered by Red Hat, such as content management systems, databases, etc.

The business values of effective open source consumption are well known:  lower total cost of ownership (TCO), faster access to innovation, and freedom from vendor lock-in, to name a few.  We also believe this strategic services engagement can help your organization realize the benefits of the collaboration and creation aspects of open source, as well. These include: shared development/support costs for common components, faster time-to-market using common modules, and the ability to influence project direction.

If this all sounds good, you may be wondering whom you can contact for more information or to schedule an introductory discussion. Fortunately, we have that covered – please email  Red Hat Consulting will be happy to set up a time to work with you and your team to explore whether this offering is a good fit for your circumstances. 

Additionally, in keeping with Red Hat's commitment to open source, we're working on plans to create an 'upstream' open source project for certain elements of this consulting offering (common templates, training materials, metrics tools, etc.). I'll have more details to share here after the Red Hat Summit/JBoss World event, happening this week in Boston. I hope you'll stay tuned for that blog, as we're very excited about what this upstream community can bring to the larger open source enablement/consulting space.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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