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Open-source: the missing piece in your digital transformation puzzle

Rapidly shifting business conditions are compelling organisations to rethink how they operate.


Rapidly shifting business conditions are compelling organisations to rethink how they operate. Organisations need to have a foundation to support the needs of modern workplaces in a way that can handle and quickly bounce back from future contingencies.

Digital transformation is about integrating new technology and new applications into your existing infrastructure, fundamentally changing how it operates. But changing and adapting technology alone is not transformation. It must encompass technology, process and culture – in concert with one another. It requires adjustments in the processes and, ultimately, the culture of an organisation.

Because it doesn’t matter how functional and efficient your applications and infrastructure are if old bottlenecks still slow you down.

The good and bad thing about digital transformation is that there’s no single, simple digital transformation framework, playbook or roadmap that’s universally applicable because everyone starts from a different place. What’s important to remember is that a transformation doesn’t always have to be drastic or disruptive because evolutionary, incremental and iterative progress is still progress.

“The goal should be to get comfortable with change before the threat of disruption looms.” – Max McLaren

The open transformation approach underscores the importance of culture in parallel to – not at the expense of – technology and process. It makes it possible to change more than just technology, transforming the way the entire organisation operates.

Open organisations have several advantages including greater agility, as members are more aligned to working together on shared goals; faster innovation, as ideas from both inside and outside the organisation receive more equitable consideration and rapid experimentation; and increased engagement, as members see connections between their individual activities and an organisation’s mission and vision.

Open-source software combines the ideas and skills of a diverse talent pool and community-based efforts, resulting in quality solutions. Enterprise open-source delivers a genuinely better software that fosters innovation, provides better security and delivers higher-quality outcomes at lower costs.

Organisations benefit from its community-driven upstream innovation and enterprise-level support, which helps them more safely use open-source technology. Modern, open practices establish common goals and empower teams to move forward together. As a result, teams can deliver more, faster – and with less risk.

This collaboration can help organisations increase innovation, eliminate time- and talent-wasting activities, and anticipate technology disruption. The business can often see successes or failures immediately, and the team can respond and adapt without starting over.

Transforming into an open organisation means embracing principles that reflect open-source values. Any organisation can commit to being an open organisation, regardless of their size, composition and mission, by following five key transformational principles that include:

  1. Transparency: In transparent organisations, materials, decisions and processes are open, collaborative and can be adjusted and revised if necessary.
  2. Inclusivity: Inclusive organisations seek out diverse points of view and invite multiple perspectives into dialogue whenever possible.
  3. Adaptability: Flexible and resilient organisations are oriented towards continuous learning and engagement, which contributes to greater longevity.
  4. Collaboration: Those working in an open organisation believe that work is better when more individuals and teams are involved, as it lends the work to enhancements over time.
  5. Community: Open organisations are communal by default, with shared values and purpose guiding them. These values help determine the organisation’s boundaries and conditions of participation.

Many organisations practise these principles to some extent, but only truly open organisations adopt them all in powerful and productive ways.

Building an open organisation can help create the perfect environment for innovation to flourish in a way that better appreciates and accounts for the iterative and collaborative nature of innovation itself.

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