The Secret Ingredient of Open Source Technology
- 18 June 2014
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“The user now has unprecedented power to shape the object that he uses, be it in design or in functionality. The Internet is the great leveler. The progressive enterprise has started to relinquish power over its offering, becoming a vehicle that is driven by the user, evaluated frequently by the user, and in many cases just acting as the medium of expression of the user’s perception of value. This phenomenon is guiding the core of a business to becoming what its customers want it to be. “
Excerpt from “The concept of the 6th Vertical”
This, we believe, drives the Open Source Software (OSS) communities - the whole notion of developing ideas in the open and building viable, enterprise-ready software, such that it provides absolute freedom to modify and extend the product as per the User’s needs. The beauty here is the collaboration of numerous ideas, in-depth access to source code and improved quality standards (a few thousand eyes – if not millions, reviewing what has been built!).
The concept of a “Community” enables not just shared innovation, but the definite need to stay relevant – measured through the adoption & repeated use of what has been built. According to the eighth annual “Future of Open Source” survey conducted by Black duck Software, which represents the insights of more than 1,240 respondents (both non-vendor and vendor communities):
- 72% of respondents chose to use OSS because it provides stronger security than proprietary solutions.
- The most important factor for OSS adoption was quality, with 80% choosing open source because of its quality over proprietary alternatives.
- 55% also indicated that OSS helped create new products and services, further supporting the idea of OSS as a strategic element of today’s enterprises.
Organizations looking to benefit from OSS would need to look at both the ‘assessment’ and ‘adoption’ elements, in-terms of how active the community is, assessment on the features (typically if 60% of your needs are met by the product in its current form, this would be a big incentive for rapid adoption), the support policies (whether your preferred vendor has the necessary skills to support the OSS product you decide to adopt) etc. Though this is nothing new, the enforcement is sometimes taken lightly and hence we decided to address these points.
We are strong believers of the whole approach having seen it work efficiently for many clients, so much so that we actively contribute to the communities and today license a number of our business-enabling tools under the open-source licensing norms – such as the “Repository Pro”, which enables active Governance & Management of artifacts for an enterprise and “API-o-Blocks” that allows API enabling an enterprise etc.
About the Author
Suman Suresh is a Associate Software Engineer at Torry Harris Business Solutions. She is working in a Open Source Team, CoE. Suman Suresh feels, "If the technology uses Open Source then jobs will be easier and faster, and enable them to be creative".