Business Architecture - The Open Road to Open Source Software

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Business Architecture - The Open Road to Open Source Software

Posted By AKash Kumar     July 8, 2022    

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Yippee-ki-yi yay...that familiar 'old west cowboy song that some wouldn't find out of being in line with the popular image in some circles that promote open-source software. Many of us have been exposed to open source software and most of us believe we are aware of the meaning behind it.
A lot of us view it as being "techie" software, created by the 'beard and sandals' brigade of academics and hackers, that can operate your computer more effectively than M$ could ever do. It is based on the shaky assumption that you can discover how to locate and install it...never forgetting the issues related to the ongoing advancement, assistance, and training and so on.
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While they are partly true, obscure the extent to which the movement towards open source has advanced in the last five to 10 years. While open source products with intriguing names such as Linux, Apache, MySQL, Python and Tomcat are in fact still the norm and remain accessible for free, they've been made more accessible and crucial.
It is now common to find data which show that this "techie" known as LAMP Stack software accounts for an increasing proportion of the installations on routers and server farms which run the modern-day internet and computing infrastructure. Not only is it easier to set up and use as well, but its overall performance puts many brand name competitor products to shame...not so bad for a free program written by 'geeks' on their free time!
However it is true that nowadays, you're almost sure to see well-paid employees working for some of the world's most well known companies (e.g. IBM, Novelle, Sun, Cisco, etc) getting a chance to invest their time making open source solutions to allow their employers to get a foothold in this fast-moving , highly creative space.
It's true that the major people have finally come around to the fact that being free doesn't be a sign of a lack of features or low-quality. Further to the point, as with any other mature industry software is starting to become more commoditized with time (i.e. because of the effects of competition, users are comfortable paying less and less...which is usually bad for profit! ).
Thus, when an intriguing new phenomenon emerges, in which the thing you were paying for is now available for everyone, and individuals are earning money from it through different means...e.g. models of business based on advertising training, support, customisations, etc it is likely to attract the attention of top executives. The thing that top executives are rubbing their eyes with surprise is that post-baby boomers love the open source philosophy.
Open source isn't only about free software but it is also entangled with other, less tangible goals such as social responsibility and working-life balance. It's possible that they don't fully grasp the concept, or appreciate its appeal to them however, the top management is aware (albeit somewhat reluctantly) the fact that it isn't something that happens to be temporary flurry, and that it will become an ever more significant influence on their strategies...as regarding their market, their customers and even their employees (e.g. the recruitment and retention of employees).
Join this open-source software bandwagon!
In the end, as we've previously mentioned, a good part of the software that is open source is quite good, and the top management has finally realized the fact that there's many ways to earn a profit that goes above the old-fashioned method of charging software per seat or CPU. Perhaps not by chance, it's getting more efficient.
It is now clear that open source isn't only about technical system software such as operating systems web servers, databases and programming languages anymore. They are still around and they are very grateful to for you, but today there are credible rivals emerging in the suite of office software, which was long owned by M$.
Mlikely believed that it had it all figured out as the likes of WordPerfect, Borland and eventually even IBM/Lotus basically surrendered their turf and quit the battlefield. Certain certain software was successful in niches and Mdid not mind it to be able to thrive because it dispelled the occasional allegations of monopoly. However, even though Mwas aware of their coming, they didn't think that any open source competitor could pose a significant threat.
Now, however, we can see the such as OpenOffice and StarOffice starting to offer M$ a serious challenge at the desk. In addition, web-based versions of Office productivity software...e.g. Google Docs, ZoHo, ThinkFree to mention just a few...are becoming an alternative to the main M$ program.
There is no way to ensure that they will (as yet) offer as comprehensive or as user-friendly like the M$ option however, a handful of them have all the features that the majority of customers actually use...and they keep getting better with each generation. In addition, there is a growing amount of government and business organisations that are adopting them as a regular issue. Poor M$...
To clarify It is important to note that we are not Mmoney smugglers. We use a handful of their products every day however it's nice to see competition return to a market that has been not having it for the longest time! However, what's even more amusing is the fact that the open source software escalator doesn't stop with its nifty LAMP Stack software or the Office productivity suite alternatives. There are increasingly legitimate open source software options across every major area of enterprise-class business software!
These offerings are categorized as enterprise-class and comprise:
 
  • BI = Business Intelligence
  • CAD = Computer Aided Design
  • CMMS = Computer Maintenance Management System
  • CMS = Content Management System
  • CPM = Corporate Portfolio Management
  • CRM = Customer Relationship Management
  • EAI = Enterprise Application Integration
  • EDM = Electronic Document Management
  • ERP = Enterprise Resources Planning
  • LIMS = Laboratory Instrument Management System
  • MES = Manufacturing Execution System
  • PDM = Product Data Management
  • PLM = Product Lifecycle Management
  • PPM = Programme & Project Management
  • SCADA = Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition
  • SCM = Supply Chain Management
  • SFA = Sales Force Automation
  • SFDC = Shop Floor Data Collection
  • WMS = Warehouse Management System
 
This list isn't intending to be comprehensive nor comprehensive!
Don't forget M$, these developments have also put companies that make proprietary enterprise software such as SAP, Oracle, Siebel, AutoCAD, PTC and many more in the open source 'we have open source competition frame.
It's not right to make over-promises about the magnitude of a threat open-source enterprise-class applications present against their proprietary counterparts. They are not all small-fry. even the largest of them have issues with the performance and scalability of serving large companies. That's not even enough to address legitimate issues over the ongoing growth, maintenance, and support in these vital areas of enterprise applications.
But wait a second But we've been there before hasn't we? Every open source software program was at one time beset by these issues. Today, the most mature of them all, the tech-savvy LAMP stack stuff, such as Linux and Apache are the dominant software in the running of many of the back-room servers of many of the world's biggest organizations...e.g. the giant US Postal Service, one of America's Top-50 sized organizations, is migrating to Linux powered servers for its uber-mission-critical sorting and tracking systems due to the TCO (total cost of ownership) and reliability advantages it offers!
As for general desktop software, and more specifically, the office productivity suite free software has become a burgeoning trend that is gaining momentum as governments, companies, and the general public start to learn about it and its benefits.
Then onto enterprise-class business software. Some were historically exorbitantly expensive that only a handful of people outside of big corporations and government agencies could be able to afford these. Yes, they too are now beginning to experience an opportunity to compete with open alternative software solutions.
They aren't yet a threat to the industry in the same way, but as for the previous phases of software that was open-source prior to them they are growing with speed and fury. It is surely only an issue of time before they also begin to take away the market part of the incumbent large-scale proprietary software companies?
Absolutely, we are convinced that it's only an issue of time before the open-source software available to every kind will be a well-established, front-line competitor to proprietary options in businesses of all sizes...while it is likely to drive innovations and new business models for all of them into the bargain!
Naturally, it is not going to change our forecast that, at the very least, big companies (with large pots of money available) within the industrialized world account for only around 10 percent or less of the global market that could be created for software. That means that 90% or more percent of market (the ones with no pots of cash on hand) always on the lookout for alternative alternatives that cost less that achieve the similar ends...of course, it's hard to predict which direction the market will go into the future as open source options keep to improve...NOT!
We view the open-source software market as a fantastic opportunity for companies that are of any size adopt pre-configured (and occasionally free to use internally) operating models and business architectures, and modify and expand them to meet their individual requirements and then back these with the right software applications.

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