Craig Muzilla delivers middleware keynote at 2015 Red Hat Summit

“Does technology really matter?”

Craig Muzilla, Red Hat senior vice president, Applications Platforms Business, says no. Not when it comes to succeeding in today’s market. “I will argue that despite all the changes in technology over the last 5 years, technology doesn’t really matter; what matters is how you create new value with that technology and new business models with that technology,” he said.

In the first keynote of Red Hat Summit 2015, Muzilla explained how the shift to a digital economy has put the developer in a unique position for recognizing opportunities that create new value. “We see 3 technologies having the biggest impact: mobile, DevOps and cloud application platforms, and integration technologies,” he said.

In the past decade, IT has seen transitions from grid to cloud, from service-oriented architecture to microservices, and from machine virtualization to container technology. Muzilla pointed to another transition that is taking place: Existing technologies and intellectual assets are increasingly exposed in software. Industry analysts call this digitization.

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Muzilla explained that digitization is catalyzed by convergence, and the alignment of social, economic, and technology trends highlights new opportunities for creating value. He outlined recent convergence in the transportation industry:

  1. Larger cities are seeing increasing demand for taxi services. (Ever try to get a cab in Boston at rush hour?)
  2. Everyone has smart phones.
  3. Truly viable scale-out application architectures, capable of handling millions of users and transactions, are now common.
  4. (Sleeper trend!) There is significant unused capacity in terms of private car ownership, both in the United States and abroad, where private car ownership is exploding.

Quick to capitalize on this convergence, of course, is Uber, and traditional transportation companies struggle to keep up.

Another example he provided is Netflix, which overhauled its mail distribution system to become the premier Internet entertainment distribution company. He maintained that mobile, DevOps and cloud platform applications, and integration technologies were critical to their transformation. “Mobile has had the most dramatic effect on business in the past five years.” He cites the increased potential for customer engagement, partner collaboration, and the advancement of new business models. These days, he said, “EVERYONE must have a mobile strategy.”

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Integration technologies are similarly critical, as they allow companies to expose their intellectual assets as APIs and combine them with web APIs. This is what allows digitization to happen. As an example, Muzilla described how the Dublin Airport Authority used the ubiquity of mobile devices and the capabilities of Red Hat Mobile Application Platform to meet increasing demands for relevant travel information. Their solution provided an effective means for communicating a wealth of travel information and even provided a retail vehicle for travel goods and services.

Muzilla also described convergence success stories from FICO and Vodafone, who employed products such as OpenShift Enterprise by Red Hat and Red Hat JBoss Fuse, to find new ways to deliver existing technologies and capabilities, creating new value for their customers.

The Middleware team then conducted a live, interactive demonstration of Red Hat software. In real time, the team created and deployed over a thousand docker-based form instances to audience members’ mobile devices. The interactive demo included multimedia data exchange and demonstrated real-world applications, such as asset tracking via Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.

In closing, Muzilla took the opportunity to invite Robin Bienfait, chief enterprise innovation officer at Samsung, to the stage in recognition of the just-announced strategic partnership between Samsung and Red Hat.