Phillip Dodds started with this quote from Gartner to illustrate just how far open source has come in the enterprise. Open source may have snuck into the enterprise environment, but it’s an established player now, and one that IT managers must recognize and fully understand.
Dodds made the point early on that open source is not just about software, but a wholly different development approach. Open source is a distributed, community-based model. There are many benefits, but also many challenges when implemented across a large organization.
Benefits include extensibility, less restrictive licensing, open standards and community support. Challenges (the issues that keep IT managers up at night) include governance (issues with licensing models), delivery mechanisms for software updates/new releases, management of intellectual property (what belongs to the business vs. the development community), and indemnification.
Above all else, moving toward an open source approach means exposing and managing interdependencies, which can be an uncomfortable position for some enterprises.
Dodds’ full presentation will be available on this site soon, but here are his “Guidelines for Success” in the meantime:
- Look beyond
code: understand licensing implications; monitor community statistics and health; evaluate community infrastructure OSS
- Evaluate vendor offerings: review available distributions; understand support- subscriptions/SLAs; determine if open-source add-ons can help
consumption: build a repository; integrate legal activities; enforce control over your component usage OSS
- Understand and leverage the
process model: distributed development; modular; reusable components; incremental development based on rapid iterations OSS