IDC has called open source the most significant, all-encompassing and long-term trend that the software industry had seen since the early 1980's. In their 2006 report, "Open Source in Global Software: Market Impact," IDC Research found that open source was being used by 71% of worldwide developers and was in production at 54% of their companies. Further bolstering the growing popularity of open source, Gartner Research found in a 2007 report that by 2008, 95% of Global 2000 organizations will have formal open-source acquisition management strategies in place to address the challenges and opportunities of open source software (OSS).
- Mulesource – for integration software
- Intalio – for Business Process Management (BPM)
- Pentaho – for Business Intelligence (BI)
- Groundwork Open Source – for network management
- MedSphere – for healthcare IT
Open source makes great business sense – it can accelerate time to market, cut down on development costs, is easily adaptable and is free. However, OSS adoption is not without its challenges. Integration and interoperability top the list of enterprise concerns when considering OSS over proprietary applications. To solve these problems, global open source companies have formed organizations dedicated to producing truly interoperable solutions capable of transcending market verticals. The Open Solutions Alliance (OSA), which counts companies such as Unisys, Centric, Spikesource and Jaspersoft among their members, debuted the first open source interoperability project -- Common Customer View (CCV) -- at the August, 2007 Linuxworld event.
Another example of open source organizations uniting to create standardized solutions is The Collaborative Software Initiative (CSI), a group focused on the development of financial services applications. Though still in their freshman year, these organizations are paving the way for enterprise-ready open source applications.
Open Source Security – Either You Have it or You Don't Along with efficiency and cost savings, open source code also introduces new levels of vulnerability and accountability to the enterprise. The sheer size of a code base coupled with the number of contributing developers makes it very difficult for companies to get an accurate assessment of their software assets: What do they have? Where did it come from? What are its intellectual property and security risks?
The FUD surrounding open source has contributed to the myth that OSS is less secure than proprietary software – an oft debated topic. The prevailing opinion amongst the open source community is that OSS is in fact, more secure. Pointing to the thousands of open source contributors on any given project, developers note that any discovered vulnerability is likely to be fixed within hours, whereas a security flaw in a proprietary application may not be fixed for several days depending on the backlog.
- 'Open Source Risks and Responsibilities, Page 1'
- 'Open Source Risks and Responsibilities, Page 2'