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State of open source software in enterprise adoption
What is the ultimate winning combination in the enterprise software business? Surely, large scale adoption, revenue generation, profitability and innovation are key things. However there is one important aspect that separates short term winners and long term legends. I feel open source software industry (collectively) is at this stage – of becoming long term legend.
While open source software community has long been admired for its ability to create alternatives to proprietary software, it has earned huge fan following in recent few years for innovation and developing key pieces of today’s enterprise software such as cloud, social media, analytics and mobile platforms. The companies that have developed commercial model for the open source software have started seeing revenue growth and increased attention from the investor community. I wrote about it in my previous blog.
However one key development that I have started noticing is the respect that CIOs are showing for the open source software in general. What I am noticing is that CIOs are taking open source software companies and their offering more seriously, they treat them with same (or more) respect as they would ( or used to) treat any large multi billion enterprise software company. At the same time what I see is the increased understanding of the open source software company’s commercial model. The CIOs acknowledge that even though a company’s sales model might not be at par with the large well entrenched enterprise company, the core software offering is worth taking note of.
In my opinion this is huge change and a feather in the cap for community. This means open source software companies now have a seat on the table when CIOs are discussing alternatives for their new projects. They are taken as seriously as proprietary enterprise software companies. The community’s hard work and respect it has earned is helping the commercial companies to overcome challenges in its sales and marketing engine. Because the commercial companies behind the open source software have big challenges ( due to various factors) in investing in sales and marketing funds. Contrast this with the huge investments done by proprietary software companies in sales teams, market coverage and reseller network. Due to these factors the open source companies, in the past, were easily elbowed out by proprietary companies even before their message could reach the CIOs.
But the environment has changed now. The message has reached the CIOs, CIOs have experienced the benefits and CIOs have by now seen and come in contact with the open source community. The result has been incredible. CIOs have respect for open source companies. Now the commercial companies behind the open source software have a great responsibility to leverage these favourable factors and develop deep relationship with the CIOs.
Open source software continues its onward journey, now with even more respect.
Interesting times are ahead.