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A Milestone for Open Source: IBM Acquires Red Hat

During the last year, we’ve seen a number of buzzworthy articles about the increasing adoption of open technology, in which the rise of open source is described as “meteoric,” “explosive,” and “skyrocketing.” From our perspective on the leading edge of this trend, we can’t argue.

However, the tech press might need to find some new adjectives: IBM has announced it will acquire Red Hat, a move that “changes everything about the cloud market,” according to IBM Chairman, President, and CEO Ginni Rometty. The deal closely follows the completion of Microsoft’s acquisition of GitHub, and news of the impending merger of Cloudera and Hortonworks; it also handily challenges the perception of IBM as a purely old-guard vendor dealing exclusively in closed-source, off-the-shelf software solutions. Furthermore, it underscores the legitimization of open source solutions for enterprise.

Here at Boundless, we can’t say we’re surprised – in fact, we see landmark deals like this one as an inevitable part of open source becoming mainstream for even the most mission-critical applications. We continue to experience firsthand how open source is increasingly the go-to choice for enterprises and government agencies that want to modernize IT and get more value from geospatial data.

Open technology has frankly been a game-changer for our customers. Monsanto turned to open source when proprietary technology would have been costly and unsustainable in the face of rapidly accumulating agricultural data. The Port of Seattle used it to create a new internal web-based GIS that works seamlessly alongside its existing geospatial solutions. And the United Nations partnered with Boundless to maximize the value of its open technology and open data in global peacekeeping and other operations. In other words, there’s no challenge to which open technology doesn’t rise, and no environment where it doesn’t belong.

IBM’s acquisition of Red Hat is certainly a milestone. But it’s one we expected.

Andy Dearing

Andy Dearing


Andy is the CEO of Boundless and previously held the role of the Vice President of Professional Services. A commercial pilot and self-taught geographer, Andy has been working with GIS for nearly 15 years. He can often be found working from one of our many locales, or representing the Boundless brand at a number of industry events and philanthropic endeavors throughout the year. Andy resides in Missouri with his wife and four kids, where he enjoys hiking, fishing, and woodworking -- when is he is not out camping with his son’s Boy Scout troop.