January 11th, 2009, 04:11 PM
Open Source & the Recession
What will happen to open source adoption in the recession, some think it will boom because of the cost, but others see it differently:
There has been much discussion in the blogosphere about open source software and how it will see a surge of adoption do to its lower cost. Goldman quite rightly says this will not be the case. I have written that CIOs will hunker down and stick with the tried and true (which is not open source in most large-sized enterprises) and Goldman is in agreement, seeing a consolidation of functionality with big, established vendors and a moving away from the concept of seeking best-of-breed point solutions regardless of vendor.
Any thoughts folks?
January 11th, 2009, 04:54 PM
In general, re: open source, Goldman is on the mark. The recession is slowing down capital expenditure regardless of the technology (and it will get worse before it gets better). I dont think the economy will have a material impact on open source adoption either way. The adoption will continue to be gradual. The real threat to open source adoption is the risk associated with a platform change, not the economy. A shift to open source not only requires new hardware and software, it also requires new talent. As most CIOs dont have experience with open source, they are less likely to take the risk. Over time, this will change as younger talent move up the ladder.
A majority of my clients (mostly fortune fifty) have experimented with open source in the past. However, few have implemented operational applications utilizing open source. In shops that leverage third party applications, the entry into open source has been minimal. These shops are at the mercy of the 3rd party providers. Many of the leading vendors are just beginning to support open source solutions. Even in shops that roll their own, it is difficult (read expensive) to make a platform switch, especially from a human resources perspective. Supporting multiple OS platforms typically requires additional staff.
That said, I have seen tremendous recent interest in utilizing open source in business intelligence and general decision support (non-operational) solutions. As open source dbms offerings have become industrial strength(e.g. partitioning, bit map indexes) and multi-terabyte disk solutions have become affordable, these once very expensive applications have become affordable for smaller businesses. In the past, a BI solution was not an option for a small business (under $100M US). The typical BI solution ten years ago was a multimillion dollar investment. Now you can get benefit for an order of magnitude less. This evolution is very similar to the relational DBMS revolution (can u still remember that far back Nihil? ). Relational started with non critical apps and eventually replaced all (OK, most... I do know a few clients running IMS and IDMS, lol) DBMS.
Like relational, the open source adoption will continue to evolve until it's mainstream.
At least, that's my $0.02...
P.S. I hope I am retired by then and off sailing the seven seas. Aaaaarrgggh!
Last edited by Cheap Scotch Ron; January 11th, 2009 at 04:58 PM.
In God We Trust....Everything else we backup.
January 11th, 2009, 07:39 PM
Don't you mean:
I am inclined to agree that the usual effect of a recession on IT and a lot of other corporate spending is to stick with what you've got and what you know.
I hope I am retired by then and off sailing the seven seas. Aaaaarrgggh! Jim Lad
I think that open source will have a battle to move into major corporate environments because of the cost and training. After all it is only replacing something that you already have that works?
Specialist tools would seem to be an area where inroads might be made. They tend to be used by a more knowledgeable community and the proprietary alternatives (where available) are expensive.
Basically I can see people looking at open source for new applications but not as a replacement for what they already have?
I certainly can, and working on BI projects
(can u still remember that far back Nihil?
January 11th, 2009, 08:42 PM
When the total maintenance/operating costs of "what they already have" starts to exceed that of other viable solutions, people will seek other cost effective solutions, even if what they already have works.
In the past, this typically meant substituting one proprietary (e.g. IBM) solution for another (e.g. microsoft). open source didnt exist/wasnt viable. It's different now.
open source solutions are stable and viable. Look at IBM, they get it. They used to get most of their revenue from hardware sales. Now they get most from service and they have strategically embraced open systems.
Bottomline, open source use will continue to grow despite the recession. How much? who knows for sure, like I said, I hope I am off sailing the seas.
aarrr jim lad (lol)
In God We Trust....Everything else we backup.
January 11th, 2009, 09:11 PM
I think that the recession will spell the end of Vista. I honestly can't see anyone going for a conversion at this late stage when the beta of Windows 7 is on general release.
I would expect that corporates will concentrate on testing Windows 7 as this will keep their staff occupied and is a (relatively) low cost activity. This is good for staff retention, assuming that you have the foresight to want that.
I think that open source might have some boost from this effect as well. When you don't have major replacement or enhancement projects approved you probably have the resources to look over the horizon at potential open source solutions.
It will be interesting to see what develops.
January 12th, 2009, 03:42 PM
I rate companies will use tried and tested however if it was my company and I had the option to use opensource I would really do so. However then because open source isn't widespread as m$ there will be training involved which might cost more in the end.
6 & 1/2 a dozen. blah blah. which came 1st, the chicken or the egg?
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.
January 12th, 2009, 06:51 PM
January 12th, 2009, 07:55 PM
Like ron said, i too can see open source options being more used in the future once the knowledge is out there but right now I think companies are cautious to turn to the open source route because it could hurt them if they do it wrong and it could cost them a lot of money up front to train employees on it, find people that have experience with it, time lost from issues, etc..
I work for a contract programming company and our business is booming right now because companies save lots of money by not having to hire and train employees with benefits and my company already has the software and hardware in place to do what our clients need and we are 100% MS with no thought of changing (that i know of). Mainly because MS gives us so much free stuff. I am currently the only programmer that has experience with PHP for the few clients that actually need it.
Actually, now that i think of it. One of our competitors hired us to finish a project for them for a large company (fortune 50) that was all in PHP and hosted on a linux server. I never got to find out if the server was at the clients or the people that hired us to finish it but my guess is that it was our competitors choice on linux and not the client but i could be wrong.
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