Open Source – Going through an identity crisis?

Open Source through an identity crisis

We have been working on open source for last five years now. When we started out every trend and every simple news around Open Source adoption used to excite us tremendously. During this time Open Source trends were followed passionately and the hype around its use and ultimate dominance was never understated.

However Open Source has already won now. When you win what do you do. What is next for Open Source. How far do we continue to talk about the Open Source’ness of Open Source. Time has come to change its meaning. Evaluate what it stands for today and in future.

I remember a brief incident a few years ago while positioning Open Source model to a CIO. When told about the merits of the Open Source model he pondered and mentioned they had  adopted it already in the shape of Linux, application and web servers. Then he mentioned about trying to understand how to use Open Source as if it was not being used. As if there was more to be done and was a great idea but they were not sure how to do it. I now look back and ponder on the reasons why he said so.

Most businesses use open source today or plan to induct open source alternative but Open Source today is an alternative for not one thing but many IT things. When one looks at the implementing it in one area the focus is on that particular alternative. The model has so many different options and choices available today that businesses don’t see it any more as a technology or a single entity. It is to them potentially a collection of several alternatives.

Therefore, Open source is going through an identity crisis. Its not LINUX any more and now its many things. Which one is it then?

Solving the Identity Crisis

Businesses and Vendors have to stop propagating what has already been said. The idea of Open source as a Choice is the closest definition I can think of which brings together the various facets to light.  Ultimately Open source has to deliver results and when many results are possible it has to deliver each result in such a way that it meets the business need better than a proprietary model.

Open Source today is therefore a case of intersecting identities while its adoption grows unabated. Here are a few examples:

  1. Open Source is quite simply a CHOICE. Look for the best vendor to implement the choice and plan ahead to extract its benefits.
  2. Open Source is SaaS (Software as a Service) you use as a service and pay a monthly fee.
  3. Open Source is integrated and better set of software bundles that make your lead time to market faster
  4. Open Source is the next software platform that you will use for your mobiles to run your applications
  5. Open Source is the direction you will end up taking while designing your next software platform
  6. Open Source is the next integration API you will use to connect your disparate data sources

So here we are. Best way to end this identity crisis is to not get driven by multiple identities that exist but look at a set of wholesome trends today in the industry and see the hidden LINUX stories and case studies emerging in each one of them.

Well its already started happening !!!!


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