4. OPEN SOURCE
Open source applications and operating systems have been around even longer, but companies have been slower to adopt, Eckert says.
“There are still a lot of companies today that are slow to adopt open source because they’re afraid of it. There’s nobody to sue,” he says. “And if there’s nobody to sue, (a manager says) ‘Oh my God, I don’t understand how they make money.’ Open source to most IT managers or even business managers in a company doesn’t make sense because they were taught in university and college that you make money by selling, and open source isn’t like that.”
What’s driving open source’s burgeoning popularity is the freedom and future-proofing it offers. “You have the source code. If you modify it, you can change it,” Eckert says. “If Microsoft decided to stop supporting SQL 2005 because they aren’t getting enough sales, companies that built their whole database structure on that SQL server will now have to spend a fortune to migrate over to another system because it was proprietary. If, however, it was open source, you have the source code.”
If the vendor doesn’t want to modify the source, customers can do it themselves. They can keep the applications relevant for as long as necessary and customize to suit their particular needs and environment. “Now (companies) are starting to adopt a lot of open source technology because they’re finally realizing what the benefits are,” Eckert says.