In January 2008, Gartner released their "Top Predictions for IT Organizations and Users, 2008 and Beyond". Their analysis around open source included the key finding that it "has become impractical for mainstream IT organizations to avoid or ignore the influence of open source across a wide variety of industry market segments. Doing so will put organizations at a serious disadvantage against competitors that are leveraging mature, stable and well-supported open-source technologies for significant return-oninvestment and total-cost-of-ownership opportunities." Does this mean that the enterprise is finally ready for open source?
As Bernard Golden points out in the first article, it is impossible to answer that question when it is framed that way--there are just too many open source projects, each possessing varying degrees of maturity and usability. Bernard further posits a key point that enterprises themselves vary from early adopters to pragmatists. Fortunately, resources are available for gauging the applicability of a specific open source product to meet the needs of a particular organization.
Several methodologies exist for assessing open source and this issue provides insights into two of these. Bernard discusses Navica's Open Source Maturity Model (OSMM) and Raphaël Semeteys from Atos Origin describes the Qualification and Selection of Open Source software (QSOS) methodology. Both methodologies emerged from the respective company's interactions with enterprises and each provides a frame of reference for assessing open source. Bruno von Rotz from Optaros describes another resource, the Enterprise Open Source Directory. Originally released as a static catalogue containing insights gained from working with enterprise customers, the directory has evolved into a dynamic and collaborative reference for finding mature, enterprise-ready open source products.
This issue also features three conference reports: two from the Technology Innovation Management (TIM) Lecture Series and one from the Partnership Conference Series. Topics addressed in these reports include wireless sensor networks, security and privacy in a connected world, and surviving as an entrepreneur. The Recent Reports section includes CAOS Research's report on open source in the enterprise database market, a report from the fourth conference on open source systems regarding the total growth of open source, and Coverity's 2008 open source report detailing trends observed from their scans of open source projects.
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