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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Open Source Model : Changing Contours

Am in KL today to join Gartner's Jim Longwood in the Geosourcing meet today here at the Ritz-Carlton, I just came across Unisys executives prediction that in 2007, enterprise open source will evolve . Amongst their predictions:

1.Architectural approaches to open source will begin to predominate

2.Specialized stacks will drive a new direction for business applications

3.SOA and standards will close the gap between legacy and open systems

4.Open source providers will boost SI and channel distribution strategies

5.The smart money will be on driving business growth and innovation.

Unisys points out few have the in-house expertise to manage and integrate legacy systems and open source stacks to lay out elegant architectures.Even fewer open source software providers have the enterprise expertise to help them. Increasingly, enterprise customers will turn to systems integrators (SI) who can give them the blueprint to create and manage an infrastructure aligned with their business strategy that integrates appropriate open source elements and optimizes their performance. The predictions include the rise of a differentiated open source stacks for specific purposes, such as business intelligence, content management and output management. Each specialized stack will constitute a ‘black box’ – a plug-and-play; minimally configurable building block designed to fit naturally in modern data center environments and accomplish a single job from the outset. Such solutions are essential to ease IT management’s concerns about having to focus on integration of open source components instead of developing and managing innovative systems to support growth of their businesses. Clearly some of the predictions can also be seen as face saving to blunt criticisms.

To me the more I read predictions on open source, the weakness of the open source system becomes so clear to me – but I like the idea that Sun’s Simon Phipps brings out,"Some people are inclined to look upon open source as end in itself - a major shift to a "new paradigm." In reality,it's nothing more than an improved means towards an end: businesses paying for computing systems at the moment when their value is unfurled”. Admitting that employing commercial open source does not necessarily represent the great revolution anticipated, he adds that in reality, it's working out to be only a small change, because most enterprises still prefer to rely on competent vendors to act on their behalf in open source communities rather than trying to build, develop, and support custom applications wholly on their own. The open source evolution looks more and more interesting!!

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