Red Hat’s CEO/president Paul Cormier assessed the last two years in a speech at this week’s Red Hat Summit. “Globally we saw nearly every industry go to 100% remote working overnight.” Regardless of industry and size, organizations learned to operate virtually and on-demand. Companies needed to deliver goods and services to customers without a set brick-and-mortar footprint. We saw new tech hubs emerge in unlikely places because workers we no longer bound by needing to be based in specific cities. Newly-remote workers realized that they didn’t have to be tied to a physical office, and organizations focused on hiring new talent based on skill and not location.
These are not insignificant achievements, and while this way of working was unfamiliar to those who were forced to adapt during the pandemic, to the open source world, it was just another day.
Every open source project is worked on remotely and has been since their inception. Just look at the Linux Foundation, which supports more than 2,300 projects. There were more than 28,000 active contributors to these projects in 2021, adding more than 29 million lines of code each week and with community participants coming from nearly every country around the globe. Most of these contributors will never meet face to face, but they are still able to drive the next generation of open technologies.
Whether we realized it or not, our accomplishments during the pandemic brought us closer to the open source model, and this is why open source innovation is now driving much of the software world. Through this new way of working, we saw new revenue streams, found new ways to become more efficient, and discovered new ways to engage with our customers. As we approach what, hopefully, is the tail end of an incredibly difficult few years, it’s time to accelerate. It’s time to take the lessons that we learned and applied as we transformed to digital-first and use them to improve our businesses, cultures and global communities.
The term “new normal” is now used like it’s pre-determined and static. It isn’t. You get to define your new normal. What do you want your business to look like? How do you want to embrace the next generation of IT?
Mater artium necessitas. [Necessity is the mother of invention].