Why Open Source

For anyone still stuck in the 20th century mindset that open source is just about Linux--or even solely about Linux and middleware like the JBoss application server--The new report, "Open source paves the way for the next generation of enterprise IT," should be an eye opener. Through the report, it makes clear that open adoption is deep, wide, and covers all levels of the software stack, from operating system to applications. The impact? Well, let's just say that enterprises may dabble in open source for the cost savings, but they will stay, for far more critical factors: ...(A)s (enterprises') adoption of open source software matures, they are likely to find more value beyond saving money on software license costs, low barriers to entry, and rapid evolution of successful open source projects. The open source paradigm embraces an even more important long-term benefit--a more innovative IT shop that can rapidly adapt to changing technologies and seize new opportunities as higher-level open source infrastructure projects mature. This combination of upfront cost savings and improved time-to-market will become a powerful weapon for those shops that can wield it strategically as a way to maximize the effectiveness of their software investments.

Adoption of open source is spreading to different applications Intriguingly, report also tracked adoption of open source via proprietary applications: a full 72 percent of all surveyed organizations know that much of the proprietary software they license includes open-source components, while 39 percent regularly combine open source and proprietary software to solve business problems. As enterprises learn to treat open source as a standard way of acquiring and developing software, the top barriers this report identifies to open-source adoption--security and a perceived lack of services and support--should crumble. In sum, open source is set to become much more pervasive. Given how broadly it has already been adopted in the federal government and throughout enterprise that's saying something.