Open Source is the Best Viable Solution: F&S

by CXOtoday Staff    Nov 23, 2006

Open source is the best viable solution for enterprises witnessing delays in taking important business decisions due to technology problems. However, their close-minded attitude towards open source does not permit them to look at it as a possible alternative to implement best practices at work place, said a survey by Frost & Sullivan.

The survey said that introduction of open source and free software movement will have a positive impact on the satisfaction levels of entrepreneurs in Asia Pacific. Open source can create cleaner, expandable and faster applications, said research associate at F&S, Harikrishna Subramanian.

Subramanian, who interviewed entrepreneurs cutting across verticals such as BFSI, government, manufacturing and telecommunication, across the Asia Pacific, found that only 14% corporates were satisfied with IT implementation. The problems faced were right from software selection to utilization.

The research noted a slight shift in the concerns of software implementers. 78% of the enterprises felt their IT was performing below par. 80% of large enterprises felt they were deficient in knowledge and operationally incompetent. Implementation times were at times three or four times slower than was initially estimated, which made enterprises skeptical about promises made by software vendors. Expensive and complex maintenance was an additional concern.

The study observed that enterprises are of the view that an open source solution, is not owned by anyone, and in the event of a malfunction, project managers would be left without a solution and no place to turn to. This anxiety is not warranted these days, with established vendors offering complete maintenance to open source implementations such as MySQL, Subramanian said. In fact, successful enterprises such as Google run their business on MySQL. Open source development provides the level of transparency for enterprises to overcome difficulties faced in regular software implementation.

Efficient communication channels communicate newer technologies across. Open source software is developed and operated over open communication and programming standards, such as GSM for mobile communication, ISA for plug-ins into IBM boards, and TCP/IP are utilized by all individual groups of programmers. Hence, the products are interchangeable and can easily interface with each other. Expansion of software architecture thus becomes simpler with both a wider choice of suitable software and a transparent architecture, which allows buyers to understand software interconnectivity.
The implementation times of open source software modules have reduced drastically.

A disadvantage of open system software is that of exposed security. When a vendor opens up the source code of an older version of a software that already has considerable market penetration, enterprises that are otherwise completely satisfied with their IT, will feel the necessity for tightening their existing architecture. This could expose the security loopholes in the software and render the companies that bought that particular software vulnerable to security attacks, unless patches are issued.