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India’s growing enterprise base enhances prospects for Red Hat

Red Hat, sees India as among the world’s high-growing markets, and the country’s expanding enterprise base and technical innovation capabilities, offer exciting prospects for the IBM-owned company, its CEO Matt Hicks, said.

Weighing in on the larger debate of AI and its impact on tech sector jobs and salaries, Hicks told PTI that artificial intelligence, “if done well”, will trigger massive value creation and spawn new industries beyond anyone’s imagination.

Red Hat – the enterprise open-source solutions company that IBM bought in 2019 for about USD 35 billion, marking its biggest acquisition ever – is working with a “great” foundation base in India and is at an exciting point where the company is amplifying capabilities with technology roles.

“I think India, at this point, is one of the strongest markets in the world with its fundamentals…When I look at the opportunity in India…one, it is a high-growing market and has enterprise needs, so that is a great fit for us…Also, the core technical innovation base exists in masses in India, so being able to start that and reach the entire nation through things like open source technologies, that is what really gets me excited about India,” he said.

Hicks said he is “amazed” by the ingenuity and innovation capabilities that exist in the country and added, “I think we will see a lot of that in India for the next few years”.

Red Hat, he said, is ensuring that its investments across the board serve the growth in the market.

“That said, we already have a really strong presence in engineering both from our sales or go-to-market teams as well as core support and engineering. One area for us as we see tools like AI, they tend to expand the capabilities.

“So, if I look at India, where we have a tremendous support organisation, which sits very close to engineering, amplifying their work and capabilities with tools like this, let us reimagine what those teams can do,” he said.

Great foundation
“So, it is an exciting point for us where we are working off a great foundation in India today. And then, we are amplifying capabilities with technology roles. So, it will be exciting to see how that unfolds.” To a question on the implications of AI on tech jobs and wages, Hicks opined that AI, “if done well”, will be value accretive and create new industries “we can’t even think of today”. Citing an example, he said the US was at one point primarily an agrarian economy, and it would have been “beyond imagination” to think that it could, one day, have a thriving video gaming industry, which would foster jobs.

“I think we’re in that similar point right now where this will change and amplify what we do, but it will also create new opportunities. I do think that there are jobs and that this can amplify your capabilities to learn more…do more novel work…But if you only stay in the areas where LLMs and language can be impacted, they will get very good at doing that work,” Hicks said, adding that he encourages teams within the company to dabble in tools to learn new things and experiment.

Higher wages
Used right, AI will lead to productivity gains, advance careers, and lead to higher wages, he noted.

“So, I think, used right, it’s positive for associates and companies. If people hope it will go away or hope it will not disrupt their business or them, that is a dangerous path to take. I think the technology is here to stay, and I think, it will challenge the ‘I-just-don’t-want-things-to-change (mindset),” he said.

According to Hicks, embracing AI and using it to further business and lives will lead to positive outcomes.

On how India stacks up against other markets, Hicks said India is demonstrating technology-focused growth.

“They are very comfortable with technology, actually very comfortable with open source technology, and have an incredible growth engine at scale in enterprise markets. That is what makes India a really, really strong market for us…is that intersection combination,” he said.

Last week, in his keynote address at the Red Hat Summit, Hicks predicted that artificial intelligence (AI) won’t be built by a single vendor, rather it will be defined by flexibility of choices. He observed that innovation has moved at a fast clip, with advancements unfolding every month, week and hour.

The impact of the open source ecosystem in the realm of AI is becoming visible, and the momentum is set to accelerate, Hicks had said, outlining the company’s strategy and push on AI.

Red Hat also made a slew of announcements at the flagship event held recently, alongside a slew of partnerships and collaborations.

Linux AI
The provider of open-source software solutions announced the launch of Red Hat Enterprise Linux AI (RHEL AI) — a foundation model platform that enables users to develop, test and deploy generative AI (GenAI) models more seamlessly.

Red Hat further announced that it has infused Generative AI across a hybrid cloud portfolio with Red Hat Lightspeed.

“Red Hat Lightspeed will expand generative AI capabilities to Red Hat’s industry-leading Linux and hybrid cloud application platforms, helping to make complex computing tasks more efficient and accessible across skill levels,” the company said in a recent release.

It has also announced a collaboration with Intel to power enterprise AI usages on Red Hat OpenShift AI.

Together, the two companies will facilitate the delivery of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions on Intel AI products for model development and training, model serving, management and monitoring more seamlessly across a hybrid cloud infrastructure. PTI

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