Interview with Rodolfo Falcone, Country Manager of Red Hat Italy.

We have carried out a series of interviews with the main ICT and digital companies in 2021, in the light of the theme of Recovery plan, the plan for the recovery, economic and social, of the European nations.

The Italian government called it the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR), Europe launched the Next Generation EU formula. We, in the headquarters that we are responsible for, the technological one, like to decline it as Next Generation IT: IT understood, both as Information technology, and as Italy.

Eight questions, whose answers allow us to highlight the position of society and to build an overall framework of participation of ICT realities in the growth of the country in the digital sense.

The starting context, therefore, is that of Recovery Plan. Of the 196 billion euros that will be able to invest our country, almost 49 billion will be destined to the digital transformation of the Italian society. But digital will also enter other sectors: health, education, infrastructure and the transition to energy and environmental sustainability. In all these areas, the role of the ICT will be central in 2021.

We address them on the basis of seven topics plus one: technologies for recovery plan, smart working, data driver, cloud, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, 5G. The eighth element is that ‘celato’ in the DNA of the society and clearly and distinguishably connotations the technological figure, the contribution that it will give to the national digital development.

Interview with Rodolfo Falcone, Country Manager of Red Hat Italy.

In the context of the Recovery plan • Next generation IT, what are the technological levers that will be moved first, to achieve what goals?

The recovery plan is certainly an important opportunity for our economy, because it will provide important funds, which will be taken care of by all stakeholders to make the most of. While we wait for everything to be defined in detail, we are pleased to see how digitalisation and innovation have been considered a priority, with an allocation of as much as 48.7 billion. However, it will be essential not to proceed in watertight compartments, since innovation in other areas, such as green revolution and ecological transition, infrastructure for sustainable mobility, education and research, gender equality and health, cannot be excluded from extensive digitisation.

This, in our opinion, can and must be the keystone of the renewal that will be born from the Recovery Plan: digitizing the processes that guide the Public Administration to make them more efficient and effective, as well as transparent. The pandemic showed us how a streamlined and fast decision-making chain is important to face a constantly evolving reality. From this we must start to renew processes taking into account the technologies currently available, with cloud, automation and advanced data analysis in the foreground.

Smart working will become structural: with what technological and organizational impacts, in terms of workflow?

The most obvious effect is the disappearance of the perimeter of the company. Companies now extend wherever there is an employee, a collaborator or a partner. This brings a number of important issues from the security point of view, but it also calls for a deep organisational reflection.

There is a growing need for collaboration between parties that are distant from each other, and that must be able to interact as if they were side by side. From a technological point of view, this translates into systems and applications that are always available, wherever their users are. Any application, anytime, anywhere, has always been a mantra of Red Hat.

The cloud, better if open and hybrid, plays a fundamental role in this evolution, as well as the ability to automate business processes making them more efficient, but also to manage and analyze data in real time by making the most of artificial intelligence and machine learn All this in the sign of maximum openness, which is our other mantra. Applications and platforms must be open and collaborative, to enable organisations to be even more agile and flexible.

We are building a society that must learn to cultivate data from the time they are born. What will be needed, especially on the SME front?

A new awareness is needed about the importance of data for business. Many companies already have it clear, even among the SMEs, because it is precisely the data that allows them to move with agility on the market reaching unthinkable goals. But we’re just getting started. Each organization continuously produces large amounts of data, which must not only be managed but also analysed to guide the business.

Software-defined storage solutions are needed to allow you to understand at any time what data you have available, distinguishing those really critical from others. Above all, integration between all systems is necessary, something not to be taken for granted even if it is a not new discourse and a new intelligence, near where the data is born. Here IoT and l’edge computing can surely support this evolution.

In 2021 the cloud will be for everyone and everyone: does the multicloud become the new take-off runway?

The cloud is no longer an unfathomable mystery, but it is now a trusted travel companion for many companies. For the cloud to maintain the benefits it promises, it is essential that this same cloud is declined on two directions, the hybrid and open one and that of the multicloud, which can coexist with each other by multiplying their benefits. The cloud promises flexibility and freedom of choice, values that are difficult to match with the choice of a single supplier, with all the risks of dependence that this may entail. By aiming at an open hybrid cloud, the company retains the freedom to choose whether and which cloud to use for which systems and applications, measuring its (even economical) commitment on the basis of its actual needs, without ever risking losing control Precisely for the undoubted benefits it offers, we expect that in 2021 multicloud will increasingly be part of the agendas of companies.

Like health, safety is increasingly a national direction. For the digital one, Italy is called to take a step forward. What will it do to accomplish it?

Safety is always a fundamental aspect, especially when dealing with the issue of a deep digitalisation of processes and services. In addition to the comfort and efficiency aspects, safety is always in the thoughts of those who draw various services. It is about security by design, security cannot be applied later, as an add on to something that has already been created, but must be considered in the design phase. We need collaboration between the various realities, even between vendors competing with each other. We need a collaborative and Community approach, which will allow us to tackle this issue in full. And we need a strong central push in terms of awareness and literacy. As services are increasingly offered digitally, confidence must grow that these services are safe to use.

Unbound by consumer applications, artificial intelligence no longer seems to be a How will we see it put to good use for the growth of the country?

Artificial intelligence will find its maximum application in the analysis of increasingly rich and articulated data from the most disparate sources. We have already talked about the enormous amounts of data that are created every day by individuals and organizations, and the role that artificial intelligence can and must have to analyze them in business perspective. But it’s not just business: the pandemic emergency has shown how a timely and effective data analysis can help to address even an unknown and potentially disturbing phenomenon. The same applies to macroeconomic trends related to the main indicators. An analysis based on artificial intelligence will be effective, complete and impartial, and will allow timely and informed decisions to be taken. Here again, we need a far-sighted approach from government entities, called to understand first and then invest.

5G is on the way. How can you start by contextualizing it in the areas of recovery plan?

With its virtually unlimited connection capabilities, 5G will not only be a strong enabler of change, but will be the necessary technological basis on which all the guidelines indicated in the plan can be developed. 5G connectivity will allow you to collect data on the territory in a timely manner, share them and analyse them in a near real time, making the decision-making processes of companies, but also of public organisations

The eighth element: what will the Red Hat act in 2021?

2021 for Red Hat will be realized in the further development of technological solutions designed to meet the needs of organizations that intend to bring their business into the future, without sacrificing concrete and measurable benefits already in the short term. The basis of all this will be digital transformation, increasingly evident concrete, articulated on pillars such as framework for the development of modern, integrated and integrated applications, containerized and based on microservices; technologies for the construction of hybrid and open cloud infrastructures; tools for

All this is based on the open source model, which has always guided the strategies and the work of the company, and which recently showed even more evident its benefits on all levels. Flexibility, freedom of choice and innovation are elements that a continuous and extended sharing of skills allows to increase further and put at the service of all, for a progress that is truly universal.

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