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Open Source powers Digital Transformation in SEA

Anubha Sharma I Enterprise Sales Manager
Singapore, 17 Dec 2018

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About 10 months back, I joined Ashnik and since then have been looking after this vibrant market of Southeast Asia (SEA). When I was asked to write an article for the newsletter, the first thought that crossed my mind was sharing something on Open Source. We all know of how Open source has been fuelling digital transformation initiatives for large conglomerates in the region and globally. But particularly for our region, what is it doing and what’s in store? Penning down some of my key observations here.

Per the latest study by Forrester, about 80-90% of all commercial software have Open Source as an integral part of their system, today. Around 41% of surveyed software decision-makers say the increasing footprint of open source is of high/critical priority for them. An increasing number of Fortune 50 and Fortune 100 companies are using open source tools to drive digital innovation. Recently, many big Enterprises have launched initiatives to adopt Open Source into their IT infrastructures. This is in line with our observations even in the SEA region; where big Enterprises are working with us to adopt Open Source technologies for their DX goals. The largest retail financial institution in Indonesia is a fantastic example of how they developed a complete mobile banking system, powered by open source!

Cost efficiency and agility are the two biggest motivating factors for organizations to go the Open Source way. The cost saved, in turn is used for their other facets of digital initiatives. Circling back, let’s take a look at the other features of Open Source that fuel this massive shift in the DX landscape within our region.

One of the biggest drivers for digital evolution is bettering end-user experience. Any brand or company today wants to create an engaging environment at the front end, where customer wants to comeback for having the best and fastest services. And at the backend, these Enterprises need the capability to take that risk; create new architectures, landscapes, integrations and easily roll back them, if not working. And do it all over again if needed! To make these new experiences possible at a fast pace, organizations need technologies which are agile and allow creators to try different options freely. Open Source is the best candidate for this. The pace at which innovation can be achieved with Open Source is unprecedented. You can be sure if a feature is needed, someone somewhere in the world is working to create it. Sabre Corp’s CEO, Sean Menke pointed to open source as a competitive differentiator, “A combination of cloud deployment and ability to integrate open source solutions will allow us to respond to our customers’ demand with speed and agility, while balancing our cost.”

Having the right people with right skill-sets has been the biggest differentiator for any Enterprise’s success. Every organization is striving hard to attract the ‘right’ people to be a part of their organization. To quote a CTO of one of the largest banks in Indonesia, he said ‘One of the compelling reasons why we want to move to open source is ‘the people’. Any organization is as good and as strong as the people working in it. Today Open Source attracts the best talent in the industry; for us to tap into that pool, we need to adopt Open source.’

Open Source is not just bringing about digital transformation in Enterprises by leveraging on cost effectiveness but also with its ability to speed up innovation and security advantages. There are more eyes on any source code since there are a large number of individuals working on it, across the world. Potential vulnerabilities and design flaws are uncovered much faster than the program built on proprietary codes. In fact, most of the large banks in this region have their core banking running on Open Source software.

I noticed that one of the only areas of concern with open source has been, getting the support if something goes wrong. And perhaps yes, this could be a worry with obscure open source projects. Cut to the mainstream enterprise-class applications and operating systems, and organisations have access to fully functioning and relentless services and support, when they switch to an enterprise version of the technology. And, that too will be much cost efficient as compared to legacy options. It is because of this reliability that Finance institutions in SEA region have put their vote to move to an Open source solution, even for their most critical business applications.

Open source is here and is powering the big DX initiatives across SEA and India. We, at Ashnik, are thrilled to be able to play a part here and aid this shift. You can check out for interesting and detailed case studies on how customers today are leveraging Open Source.


  • Anubha is our Enterprise Sales Manager, with over 8 years of business development & account management experience. Her expertise lies in business and sales strategies, sales enablement and account management. Being a part of Ashnik team, she will be responsible for sales strategy, account management and partner engagement across Southeast Asia region.