"Open source is a cultural change"

Alberto Morgante, Cloud Computing Innovation Engineer at BBVA, talks about the current boom in open source. One of the key benefits of these tools, he says, is their capacity to streamline processes.

01 Feb. 2017

Open source code has changed the rules of the game in the world of technology, and –by extension – in the world of business too. It even represents a cultural shift and a new working model to which major companies are all now signing up.

Alberto Morgante, Cloud Computing Innovation Engineer at BBVA, explains the importance of this new way of working and analyzes its advantages and potential after his participation in the OpenExpo event Open Source Trends 2017.

What's the main benefit for a company of using open source tools?

The main benefit is that behind that solution you have a huge community to maintain that software and who are also looking out for its interests.

And specifically for a company in the financial sector?

Open source tools give us the ability to be really quick to adopt new solutions. It also helps us adapt to new trends in the world of technology

What new developments or trends in open source do you consider most important right now?

One of the trends that's going to be big in 2017 is machine learning and cognitive technologies. This is something that companies have yet to exploit, but it's really important for us as a data source. This is one of the technologies and new trends that's really going to make its mark. Cloud computing is going to become much more stable than it is at present; and also IoT, a trend that's slightly less relevant in our case, but which is also going to make an impact.

What's the greatest drawback or risk of open source?

The security side. We have to be really careful about that aspect. The data are paramount, as in the end that affects how much our customers feel they can trust us.

What does the cloud philosophy bring to open source development and vice versa –open source culture to the cloud?

Cloud philosophy means you can drastically reduce development times compared to how long you needed before with non-agile methodologies. It means having to use agile methodologies to make your developments, which saves time. And vice versa –open source development implies we can obtain ever better cloud solutions, so in the end they mutually benefit each other – it's a win-win situation.

Does BBVA collaborate in creating free software? That is, does it generate its own adaptations?

We're currently working with the Openstack community, as well as with the Kubernetes community. What's more, outside the area of innovation, I'm sure many development groups at BBVA are collaborating on small projects, not at the community level, but more at the open-source project level, particularly because of the mutual benefit that can be gained from doing so.

Can you fight IT bugs better with open code software?

Absolutely. Not only do you have the advantage that there are a whole load of people behind it who are working with you, but you actually have the code yourself and can update it as early as possible. For us at BBVA, time is our main priority. We have to minimize time in the event of a possible security incident that may ultimately impact the customers. Open source allows us to do just that, to cut our reaction times.

Do you think today private software is following in the footsteps of free software?

Of course. There are thousands of examples of companies with private software that are moving to free software and are even opening up their code, offering their code to everyone else. This is all part of that cultural change we're talking about.  

Many in the business community are reluctant to implement open source in their company because they don't trust where it comes from and who's behind it. What would you say to these people?

I'd tell them to start by trying a small project where they can see the advantages of having an open source solution, without being afraid to keep it going. They'll find how much they like the cultural shift and having the advantages of open source. I'd advise them to take the plunge –there's no harm in trying.

For more information go to:

- In our Open Source eBook

Infographic: Chronology of open source

The open source Internet of Things

Are you interested in financial APIs? Discover all the APIs we can offer you at BBVA




"Open source allows us to cut our reaction times"
Alberto Morgante

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