Dirk Riehle's Industry and Research Publications

FOSSBazaar: Open Source Under the CIO’s Radar Screen: Good or Bad?

Commercial open source has a peculiar sales process. Frequently, when a firm decides to buy (license) a specific type of software like a content management system or a wiki engine, they’ll find that their company already employs multiple solutions, downloaded for free from the Internet. By some measures, this is dangerous to IT governance, as it bypasses corporate purchasing and operating regulations. On the other hand, open source empowers IT users to make their own decisions early on without having to go through lengthy approval processes, keeping them nimble and speedy. So, is commercial open source good or bad for IT operations and the CIO?

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Archived copy of article.


  1. James Dixon Avatar

    So far the consensus seems to be that IT loves open source : Week nominated open source as one of the 10 things that IT was mot thankful for in 2006. IT likes it because they can get more things done within the budget they have.
    CIO’s on the other hand are less favorable. In many cases they don’t know how much open source is being used. They are the people who have to deal with governance and risk.
    You have your main statement backwards. When a company comes to get a subscription for open source its often because they already have one or more instances of it in use and they want to manage internal risk. This is the basis of the business model – sales and marketing expenses are hugely reduced because the consumer can prove to their satisfaction that the software does what they need it to. Only then does the consumer need to engage as a customer if they want help managing the risk.

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