Open Source: who cares?

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How much does it really matters to CIOs whether business software is open source or not? Well, let me start with this: There are myriads of criterias to look at in greater depth if you really want to answer the question completely. But besides the still fierce discussion – although repeating over and over the same old arguments becomes more and more boring – if it has to be either open source or “traditional” software there are loads of examples where business users can benefit from a “peaceful” and sustainable co-existence between two worlds.

Let us have a closer look at this. Everybody is talking about Big Data: collecting huge amounts of data and get some insights out of this, e.g. to achieve business goals like more revenue or customer satisfaction by analyzing unstructured data (like social media data or RFID or…) in a good value/cost ratio. Widely available technology helps to shift the focus from a historic data analysis to a near time or even predictive forecast. Although there are many established players like open source company Pentaho or closed source big ones like SAP or Microsoft there is one very remarkable thing – almost every single one of them is working to some extend with Hadoop – a well-known open-source software for reliable, scalable, distributed computing, used by e.g. Ebay, Facebook or Yahoo.

To me, it looks like there is no more discussion needed whether open source is already mature enough to fulfill serious business needs. So let’s get rid of this boring discussion and start to think more about a best-source approach – focusing on establishing innovation and business value. Or why do you believe players like Microsoft, SAP or Pentaho are all working with open source based Hadoop…?

What are your thoughts on this? Let us know and share your experience with business open source with us at twitter, Google+ or by leaving a comment.

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Michael Kienle - Geschäftsführer „Open Source gehört in die Business-Welt und nicht in die Technologieecke“ – die Auffassung von Open Source als Business-Thema hat Michael Kienle maßgeblich mitentwickelt. Als ehemaliger Chief International Officer für die Open Source Business Foundation und Geschäftsführer eines SAP- und Open Source-Beratungsunternehmens gehört Michael zu den führenden Köpfen in der Open Source-Welt. Er schreibt regelmäßig als Experte für die Computerwoche.
Webprofile von Michael: Twitter, XING, LinkedIn

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