Enterprises: Embrace open source development or go extinct

By Paula Rooney | April 19, 2012, 8:43am PDT

Summary: A Forrester analyst warns that enterprises must evolve their IT systems of record into systems of engagement which allow customers, partners, suppliers and machines to engage seamlessly with corporate data — or fall prey to digital upstarts.

Enterprises must embrace open source web technologies and development paradigms quickly — or possibly face extinction.

That’s a stern warning from a Forrester Research principal analyst, who contended during a webcast yesterday that the rate of innovation inspired by open source development is accelerating at such a dramatic pace that it could threaten the livelihood of any business that sits on the sidelines.

Jeffrey Hammond, principal analyst at Forrester, said much of the technological underpinnings of organizations that are revolutionizing their respective industries — the way Amazon has altered publishing, LinkedIn has changed recruiting and NetFlix put Blockbuster out of business — is built on open source, the cloud and software-as-a-service.

And the three are not mutually exclusive. According to Black Duck Software, which sponsored yesterday’s webcast, “Mobility and the Open Web: Open Standards and Collaboration Redefine Enterprise IT,” the number of mobile open source projects (and open source AGPL licensing, which governs cloud development) has been growing dramatically.

More than 10,000 new open source projects — many dealing with application development — were created in 2011, Black Duck Software reported.

Open source is changing the world and enterprises must change their IT strategy dramatically to compete, Forrester maintains.

“The traditional barriers to entry — especially technology-based — are eroding very quickly,” Hammond said, noting that the old 10-year product cycle has been replaced by speedy innovation and the capacity of digital startups like the 13-employee Instagram to achieve a billion dollar market capitalization in no time at all, with little if any investor funding or internal resources.

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About fblauer

Fred Blauer is a senior consultant with more than 20 years of experience providing information systems consulting, ERP implementation, syste
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