In Part I of this posting, we covered some perspectives in support of opensource examined from changing demographics, business environment and Microsoft's fresh views about Opensource .In this part, I share my views on opensource:
Open source solutions at the bottom of the stack – typically workhorse infrastructure elements are getting well entrenched . I wrote earlier, large areas of infrastructure will be conquered by open source, but there will be huge area of applications that the commercial companies will maintain. Neither side will conquer and many pitched battles will be fought. Byron Sebastian’s arguments about development becoming cheaper & therefore opensource will raise faster is not right - this may apply to both commercial software and open source. Perhaps they mean that commercial software will be subject to more competition, not that commercial software will cease to exist. The commercial software business can learn lessons that open source teaches about software development without having to change the fundamental business model.But even a layer above – lets say starting even at database level – we see the hold loosening and as we move up certainly – opensource becomes one among multiple options. Opensource requires lot of organisational support and hence we are seeing open source advocates leaning on the - naturally big companies use the opportutnity and want to occupy this space as well - this opens an interesting issue again - whats the business model for opensource- how would be this be a sustainable, dependable model for large enteprises criticaly dependent on IT.
I tend to take a dim view of open source relevance - see Opensource -where is the business model, Opensource : Costly & Litigatious, Open Source : Reality Check. Look at Kim Polese view business models of the open source support companies – where the contours of what need to be done to support open source components become quite clear and a not seeing several players in the opensource world thinking along these lines – it would be a major impediment to consider adoption of opensource in enterprises if the support model is not made widely available and the economics and technology upgrade rate demonstrated as beneficial . But I do see the need to have a significant role for opensource at desktop.The idea for opensource may be good for desktop related software or some maintenance related software, entertainment software like games, utility tools like anti-spyware, messaging software and infrastructure software like- app server, database servers, email servers, messaging middleware. These are all product types where a developer could influence a small deal at any enterprise – small or large. Sales and Account management should focus on continually mapping the account – mapping influencers, buyers, naysayers, decision shy ditherers.
Category : Opensource