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Telecom Review spoke with Adrian Pickering, regional general manager, MENA, Red Hat, regarding the company’s latest developments, digital transformation outlook, and participation at GITEX 2021.

Pickering highlighted that the modern customer is perhaps the most significant growth driver of cloud-native technologies that makes successful cloud-native migration critical for digital service providers. Moreover, Red Hat is committed to addressing emerging demands both now and in the future, with the foundations focused on developing digital skills and delivering next-generation open source and technology solutions.

Red Hat recently announced a new standard for hybrid cloud automation. How can this particularly benefit enterprise customers within the MENA region?

From a Red Hat perspective, the latest announcement concerning the new hybrid cloud automation standard is particularly exciting due to customer-centric advantages it will provide. The new standard has been refined for today’s evolving realities of computing at hybrid cloud scale, meaning MENA enterprises can avail new self-contained automation capabilities while integrating automation into application development lifecycles even more extensively.

It’s important to appreciate that organization-wide collaboration has never been more important. And as such, the need has never been higher for product and IT teams to standardize automation practices for business, efficiency, and automation use cases. Moving forward, regional Red Hat enterprise customers will be able to address automation requirements at scale across various environments and systems in a standardized way.

They will also be able to scale and speed up automation tooling delivery, reduce operational overheads and complexities, enable smoother cloud-native deployment of automation clusters, and capitalize on easier management and migration of data and platform performance upgrades.

In the digital era, what are the most significant growth drivers of cloud-native technologies?

The modern customer is perhaps the most significant driver. After all, cloud-native technologies empower enterprises to develop and run scalable applications in modern, dynamic, and evolving IT environments through cloud computing. Successful cloud-native migration is now critical for becoming a digital service provider, and this requirement is a key growth driver of widespread demands for related technologies. Following unprecedented digital transformation acceleration of late, consumers search for personalized digital experiences, which cloud-native technologies can deliver.

For example, innovating faster and more effectively is essential in today’s marketplaces. Agile, cloud-native business support systems enable enterprises to increasingly offer services with business partners to grow their top line revenue. They ensure enterprises pivot from traditional connectivity to higher-value digital services, identity new business opportunities through network and application data, and rollout new services and features in a timely manner for end-users.

Another cloud-native growth driver is other new technologies. For instance, containerization, vRAN, and 5G require extra investment to maintain operations with fewer resources. Cloud-native technologies are proven to overcome related challenges, lowering operational expenditure (OPEX), enhancing compliance and consistency, increasing infrastructure and operational security, and ultimately ensuring enterprises can do more with less.

Can you tell us what Red Hat is showcasing at GITEX this year?

GITEX Technology Week has served as a unique platform for Red Hat to foster a culture of innovation and empower communities of customers and clients in their digital transformation journeys for years. Long-term association with this event has resulted in many positive outcomes for enterprises in line with these principles, which is why Red Hat once again looks forward to honoring this tradition and showcasing the latest products, solutions, and technologies to grace the technology and open source segments.

More specifically, these include new entrants to Red Hat’s portfolio suite across automation, hybrid cloud, and edge computing, as well as Kubernetes native and digital transformation. This year, it’s equally exciting that Red Hat’s global developer team will also be participating. The short, medium, and long-term advantages these innovations offer enterprises will be explored at GITEX 2021, with subject matter experts in various sectors on hand to provide insights and answer questions for attendees and audience members.

The future of IT is now being manifested. How can Red Hat continue to address the emerging business demands?

Red Hat is committed to addressing emerging demands both now and in the future, with the foundations for such action already laid through long-standing efforts in this direction. One relates to academic alliance. Constructive learning opportunities provided through invaluable, practical educational platforms can enhance youth training and development in countless roles, ultimately unlocking their potential and contributing to personal, professional, business, industrial, and national development.

This is why we work with academia through the Red Hat Academy; to bridge the skill gap, nurture talent, equip up-and-coming generations with the knowledge and skillsets they need to realize their full potential in their future career paths, and unlock innovation potential with an open source mindset.

The digital skills gap is also widening dramatically as the digital transformation accelerates at an unprecedented rate. Therefore, it is imperative that we make sustained and substantial progress in bridging the digital divide. Through a holistic approach in which Red Hat prioritizes digital skills development led by innovation and technology, governments, businesses, and educational institutions alike will have the personnel capable of meeting the demands of positions stemming from the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). Furthermore, emerging demands will also be addressed through new and existing open source solutions that we provide.

What is your outlook on MENA's digital transformation journey?

From a MENA standpoint, the region’s digital transformation journey to date has been one of sustained progression. Even before the pandemic, respective leaderships had prioritized widespread digitalization as part of their sustainability roadmaps for the future, yet recent event have driven years’ worth of reform within 18 months. 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), big data analytics, and the internet of things (IoT) are some of the many technologies to be successfully integrated by businesses and industries, streamlining operations, driving productivity and efficiency, and ushering in a new era of sustainability for all.

However, more transformation will unfold in the coming years, with autonomous mobility and smart cities’ development two of many areas that will lead the region’s digital transformation charge. Red Hat looks forward to playing its part, something that will be done by driving innovation, bridging digital divides, and delivering next-generation open source and technology solutions.

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