Open Source – 10 Things We Want You To Know

Posted by Unknown on Thursday, January 20, 2011

1. Open Source is ‘freedom’. Open Source provides freedom of choice and the flexibility to react to market conditions
2. Open Source is all about community. Communities that come together with a common goal, under common governance, with diverse experiences and skills that can achieve far greater results than what a single vendor can provide.
3. Perception is NOT always reality. Open Source suffers from the perception of old school thinkers who believe that if it does not cost a lot then there must be something wrong with it. Remember many Open Source alternatives are of a higher quality and reliability than commercial software.
4. Participate. Go join a community, get involved, help create something. You don’t have to be a technical whiz to make a difference.

5. Adopt. Find out for yourself. The adoption led model of Open Source means you can access the technology and find a solution to best suit your needs before you commit financially. Oh and Go Download OpenOffice 3.0 and check it out for yourself… Share it with others… Ask yourself, why am I paying for a Microsoft Office License when I can do nearly all the same things using a free open source product, you can also get support in case you run in to trouble, whether it’s professional service support or a problem or bug in the product.
6. Procure at the point of value. When its time to spend money on your solution, spend it on what is valuable to you and only when you will reap the value. Its not just about support, look for components to ease complexity and deployment challenges.
7. Stick to your procurement guns. Don’t compromise on security, reliability, risk profile, functionality and features. Just make sure you run Open Source alternatives through the grinder with commercial software on your next project. Make value based decisions!!
8. The First Step. Create a White-list. Add a core group of Open Source technologies to your approved technology policy. Technologies that you have skills in, that you know to meet your criteria for acceptable software to be used by your organisation. There are several examples of suggested criteria that you can download on the Internet.
9. Legal Implications and protecting your IP. A topic too big to address in a list. Needless to say it isn’t as bad as many want you too believe. Pick a couple of suitable products, Know their licence, know its requirement for contributing back and then pick the product with the most suitable licence for you. Done!
10. Be Ready for what is to come. Open source will (or already has) change ICT forever, minimise costs and maximise flexibility. Open source and community development are the stepping stones to enable the next wave of technology value: software as a service, platform as a service and infrastructure as a service.

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