The value of open-source tech in digital transformation

19 Oct 2023

Keith Lynch, Red Hat. Image: © Connor McKenna/ spoke to three senior leaders in Red Hat about why open-source projects are uniquely positioned to progress companies’ digital journeys.

Open source has always been of great value to the tech community, having been around since the early days of computing. Unlike proprietary tech, open source is released for free reuse, distribution and modification.

As we move into a new era of tech with generative AI, open-source projects have become more important than ever as a way to democratise access to cutting-edge tech and brand-new large language models. This furthers research, collaboration and innovation into new technologies.

Red Hat is an open-source enterprise software company with a strong presence in Ireland. Speaking to, the company’s country manager for Ireland, Keith Lynch, said the growing trend of generative AI is on everyone’s mind.

“I think from a C-suite director level, people are thinking: ‘What does this mean for a company?’ So I think in general, open source and open standards are going to have a bigger role to play in that space.”

Lynch also spoke about the benefit of open-source projects when it comes to larger digital transformation projects.

One example of this was when Red Hat teamed up with Version 1 to create a new platform called Smart Text for the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. The tool is a machine learning text analysis platform that scans uploaded documents and flags potential human errors. The solution was named an Innovation Awards winner at the 2021 Red Hat Summit.

Lynch flagged the value of open source when it came to this project. “You need traceability, you need to prove why you did something, and if you have black box from some proprietary company, then you can’t do that. Regulated industries are going to be challenged.”

Ivan Jennings, a senior manager of solutions architecture Ireland for Red Hat said the company has hundreds of thousands of active projects in the community with engineers adding improvements and new features daily. “Open source is uniquely positioned to support digital transformation because it’s not just about technology,” he said.

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Jenny Darmody is the editor of Silicon Republic