IT Brief Australia logo
Technology news for Australia's largest enterprises
Story image

Exclusive: Why open source is critical to software development

FYI, this story is more than a year old

Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with Pivotal APJ head of platform architecture Lawrence Crowther and discuss the importance of Open source and cloud.

Firstly, can you tell me a bit more about Pivotal and its cloud platform?

Pivotal’s original mission was to transform the way the world builds software. Now our mission is to transform the way the world runs software, too, through a combination of methodology and technology. Whether we are helping clients change their culture towards product development or managing platforms, we use the same agile principles in both cases, such as Extreme Programming and the Lean Startup approach. This is often a radical shift for companies to embrace so we partner with them for a “learn by doing” approach.

We believe that in order to support a fast development team who are iterating quickly and updating constantly, you need a different kind of platform. One that removes all barriers and lets you go from “concept to cash” quickly in a reliable, secure and safe way. You can build software as fast as you want but if it is not ending up in the hands of users it doesn't matter. Once Pivotal Cloud Foundry is up and running the cost of deploying applications and iterating on them becomes almost zero. This is because it takes away the details of infrastructure, middleware, dependencies, integrations, monitoring and more from the development team so they can focus on delivering value to the business over and over again.

What are some of the benefits of open source?

Open source is critical to doing any kind of modern software development in the enterprise today to avoid lock-in as standards are emerging where a lot of investment is happening. Such as Cloud Foundry as the defacto way to deploy applications in the cloud and Kubernetes as the defacto way to run containers in the cloud. Enterprise architects within large companies should not ignore these open source projects and other similar projects to build new systems because of the community behind them and the innovation that’s going on. Companies themselves can contribute to open source projects and influence the roadmap to help them fit their requirements.

Other benefits of open source are that the documentation and resources available online are more comprehensive compared to closed source systems. These communities are thriving and are willing to help out 24/7. The frequency of updates and feature development within these projects can’t be matched by any one company and goes back to the power of the community. Having more eyes on the code translates into more reliable, secure and robust products.

What do you think are some of the biggest issues that make companies hesitant to move to the cloud?

This may differ between industries. With banks, for example, there was a lot of heavy regulation around storing customers’ personal information in the cloud. Given most applications need to store user-related information, it was hard for these companies to move workloads to the cloud. Regulations have since been relaxed and technology has improved and become more secure, thereby allowing more types of applications to run in the cloud. This could have slowed some companies down initially.

Another factor could be due to the complexity of untangling legacy applications in their data center. The modern approach to this is to provide an API layer on top of the legacy to abstract the complexity and allow new digital experiences to be developed in the cloud.

Skillsets, or lack thereof, could be another reason why companies are hesitant about moving to the cloud. There are a lot of opportunities in the market where companies are doing very innovative and interesting things in the cloud, so to remain competitive and attract talent, companies need to adopt cloud computing.

In regards to [cloud] security concerns, what are some of the biggest fears and how are they best addressed?

There is a perception that if an application or server doesn't get updated for a long period of time then it is secure. False. Hackers love environments that are static and don’t get updated because they have time to monitor traffic and activity and to launch malicious attacks. Instead, the new approach is to rebuild environments and applications constantly so that hackers do not have a chance. A radical new approach to security in the cloud,  pioneered by Justin Smith, refers to the “three Rs of security”: Rotate, Repave and Repair. 'Rotate’ refers to constantly changing the passwords and security keys of platform components so that they cannot be compromised. ‘Repave’ refers to the ability to rebuild the platform frequently from scratch to a known state so that it avoids any vulnerabilities and configuration drift. Lastly, ‘Repair’ refers to the ability to automatically patch the environment with CVEs (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures) with zero downtime and no effect to end users.

How can Aussie businesses effectively modernise while avoiding some risk?

The bimodal approach of layering an abstraction on top of the legacy with an API gateway so that the digital teams can go fast seems to work and reduce risk while still enjoying the benefits of the cloud.

Aussie businesses should also embrace open source technologies from Silicon Valley because they have been proven at scale and will be easy to implement versus trying to build their own platforms. It's very expensive to hire top talent in Australia, so it’s better to focus talent on building amazing user experiences that add tremendous value to the business rather than DIY platforms.

What would you say to businesses that are still hesitant to embrace digital transformation?

Start with something small, prove out the value in the new way of working and iterate from there. Don’t try and transform core banking applications as a starting point. Look for applications that have good business value but don’t have a lot of technical complexity otherwise it may fail.

Rather than trying to build your own platform, embrace what’s already been done by others in setting standards in open source projects and in cloud computing platforms, like Cloud Foundry and Kubernetes.

Always focus on the customer, and try to orient the company to be a learning organisation. This means learning from customer feedback and having the courage to always experiment and iterate.

If companies don’t constantly transform themselves they are in danger of being left behind by more nimble startups that can respond to changes in the market quicker. Companies need to future proof themselves by behaving more like software companies, regardless of industry. The reality is that software is everywhere and is being used as a key differentiator across all industries.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
LG Electronics
LG Electronics brings on Aussie AV distributor Alloys
LG Electronics Australia Business Solutions has appointed Australian AV distributor Alloys as a new distribution partner.
Story image
Energy
Sustainability huge factor for APAC data centre managers
A new report reveals that 85% of data centre managers in APAC believe that sustainability will significantly impact operations and decision making.
Story image
Pegasystems
Marketing technologies set to increase revenues - study
Marketing leaders say that investment in new marketing technologies (MarTech) will drive significantly increased revenues.
Story image
Equinix
Aussie businesses buckle down on digital tech investments
Australian businesses are planning major investments in digital technologies to support ambitious expansion plans.
Story image
AGVs
Bridgestone Australia uses Dematic's AGVs to optimise warehouse operations
Bridgestone Australia has deployed Dematic's Automated Guided Vehicle solution across its new Melbourne warehouse in Truganina.
Story image
Document Management
NZ's FileInvite raises $10M in latest investment round
FileInvite has raised $10 million in Series A investment to fast-forward the extinction of email for requesting and collecting documents online.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Palo Alto Networks' cloud security platform receives IRAP assessment
"We provide help protect all forms of compute, cloud native services and access to data within public and private sectors."
Story image
Digital Transformation
Munro Footwear Group chooses Boomi to assist with digitisation strategy
Munro Footwear Group (MFG) has selected Boomi to assist with its eCommerce and digital transformation roadmap goals.
Story image
Document Management
Regaining digital trust and enhancing digitisation in Australian Government agencies
Having a digitised ecosystem of documents, tools and data can help bolster security, improve workflow and ultimately create better services.
Story image
Capital
Rubber Monkey gears up for Aussie market with latest capital raise
Rubber Monkey is seeking to raise up to NZ$2.5 million of new capital through online investment platform, Snowball Effect.
Story image
Cybersecurity
How organisations can mitigate IoT and IIoT security risks
IoT and IIoT come with inherent risks because they are often deployed faster than they can be secured, putting organisations in danger of cyber threats. Here are tips on how to mitigate those risks.
Productivity
Discover the 5 ways your ERP may be letting you down. Is your current system outdated, difficult to manage, and costing you a fortune?
Link image
Story image
Media
Registrations for the W.Media Sydney Cloud and Datacenter Convention 2022 now open
Are you a C-Level executive looking to enhance your knowledge in the cloud and data center space in order to get the best results for your company?
Story image
Airwallex
How Airwallex helps businesses achieve globalisation success
As markets continue to shift, businesses need to be able to provide the same quality of service for customers regardless of where they are located around the world.
Story image
Management
MYOB snaps up Sydney-based management software specialists
MYOB has announced the acquisition of Sydney-based business management software and support specialists, GT Business Solutions.
Story image
Southern Cross Cable
Southern Cross Cable launches the SX NEXT cable to connect NZ to the world
The new Southern Cross NEXT fibre cable (SX NEXT) is set to connect Australasia to the US and further enhance connectivity between New Zealand, Australia, and the US.
Story image
ABI Research
75% of 5G networks to advance to 5G-Advanced by 2030
5G-advanced is set to launch in 2025, and 75% of 5G networks will upgrade by 2030, according to ABI Research. 
Story image
Payroll
How New South Wales state departments achieved cloud migration success
State departments in New South Wales are heading to the cloud to achieve better workflow solutions, and one company is paving the way for their success.
Story image
Data Protection
Five signs your business is ready to move to the cloud
Many organisations are thinking about moving to the cloud. But what are the signs you are ready, and what are the reasons to move?
Story image
Ransomware
Examining the future of ransomware threats with Vectra’s CTO
As customers' valuable data move to the cloud, so will ransomware. What is the current landscape and what do we need to know?
Story image
ASI Solutions
Western Australia CUA panel picks ASI as preferred supplier
Western Australia's Common User Arrangement (CUA) panel has chosen ASI Solutions as a preferred supplier for device hardware.
PwC
PwC's Consulting Business and PwC's Indigenous Consulting are proud to play an important role in helping Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience build IMAGI-NATION, a free online university for marginalised communities around the world.
Link image
Story image
Storage
EXCLUSIVE: Finding the best data center for your business needs with datacenterHawk
Companies using cloud are consistently looking for the best storage solutions to suit their enterprise needs and often have to go through rather complex processes in order to find the right fit.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Tech and data’s role in the changing face of compliance
Accenture's study found that 93% of respondents agree or strongly agree new technologies such as AI and cloud make compliance easier.
Digital Transformation
Discover the 5 signs your business is ready for a cloud-based ERP. Is your business being left behind as more of your competitors switch to the cloud?
Link image
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Accenture shares the benefits of supply chain visibility
It's clear that gaining better visibility into the supply chain will help organisations avoid excess costs, inefficiencies, and complexity to ultimately improve their bottom line.
Project management
Discover the 4 crucial factors for choosing the right job-costing solution. Is your team struggling to cost jobs and keep projects running on budget?
Link image
Story image
Enterprise Resource Planning / ERP
Five ways your ERP is letting you down and why it's time for a change
Wiise explains while moving to a new system may seem daunting, the truth is that legacy systems could be holding your business back.
Story image
Telecommunications
WiFi as a Service market to reach $26 billion through 2032
As a result of the easy management of wireless infrastructure over cloud services, WaaS is experiencing rapid growth.
Story image
Wiise
Four things wholesale distributors need to consider for FY2023
In a post-pandemic world, there are many things for a distribution business to juggle. ERP solutions company Wiise narrows down what companies should focus on.
Story image
CSG
To win at 5G, telcos must tame their quoting chaos
The catalogs of CSP (communication service providers) market offerings are set to explode as new digital services emerge, powered by B2B2X business models.
Story image
Training
Barracuda customises training to fit ACSC Essential Eight
Barracuda has announced that its Security Awareness Training now provides a customised training curriculum in line with the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s (ACSC) Essential Eight.
Story image
SaaS
Ping Identity appoints Deloitte Australia as a partner
Ping Identity has appointed Deloitte Australia as a Consulting Technology Partner, uniting its offerings with the company's consulting services.
Story image
Malware
Colt launches new SASE Gateway solution with Versa
Colt Technology Services’ customers now have access to an integrated full SASE solution that brings together SD WAN and SSE features.
Story image
Samsung
Monitors are an excellent incentive for getting employees back
The pandemic has taught us that hybrid working is a lot easier than we would’ve thought, so how can the office be made to feel as comfortable as home? The answer could be staring you in the face right now.
Story image
Metaverse
How the metaverse will change the future of the supply chain
The metaverse is set to significantly change the way we live and work, so what problems can it solve in supply chain management?
Supply chain
Discover the 4 critical priorities for wholesale distribution businesses in FY23. Are you worried about how supply chain issues may affect your business in 2023?
Link image
PwC
WSLHD and PwC’s Consulting Business came together to solve through the challenges of COVID-19. A model of care was developed to the NSW Health Agency for Clinical Innovation guidelines with new technology platforms and an entirely new workforce.
Link image
Story image
Cybersecurity
Delinea’s Joseph Carson recognised with OnCon Icon Award
Delinea chief security scientist and advisory CISO Joseph Carson has been recognised as a Top 50 Information Security Professional in the 2022 OnCon Icon Awards.
Story image
Accounting
Four factors to consider when choosing the right job accounting solution
Progressive job-based businesses can achieve success by strengthening their ability to quantify every cost attributable to the delivery of an outcome for a customer.
Story image
Cloud
BT builds on Equinix partnership with new cloud offering
BT has launched a next-generation cloud connectivity offering extending its global network into strategic carrier-neutral facilities (CNFs) and building on its existing partnership with Equinix.
Story image
Recruitment
Thales on recruitment hunt for next disruptive innovations
"Recruiting new talent is part of Thales's belief in the power of innovation and technological progress to build a safer, greener and more inclusive world."
Story image
IDTechEx
The next stage for 5G in thermal materials - IDTechEx
IDTechEx says higher frequency deployments, such as mmWave devices and very different station types such as small cells, present their own technological evolution and, with it, thermal challenges. 
Story image
Cybersecurity
Without trust, your security team is dead in the water
The rise of cyberattacks has increased the need for sound security that works across any type of business, but with any change, buy-in is essential. Airwallex explains why.