Mark Driver

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New Research Note On Saving $$$ With Open Source

by Mark Driver  |  February 4, 2009  |  1 Comment

I just published a short “finding” research note on leveraging open source to save money.

Clients can find it here. It’s a very short piece meant to serve as a quick place holder while I work on a much more in-depth note.  I hope to have that one ready by end of February.

Here is a quick excerpt with a couple of key points….

The challenge when optimizing cost with open-source software is twofold:

  • First, cost must be reduced in one budget area (for example, acquisition cost), without that cost spilling over into other buckets (for example, service and support). Toward this end, adopters must avoid the common mistake of simply burying and obscuring costs by moving them from one budget area to another.
  • Second, reducing budget costs with open source serves little purpose if you reduce the quality of service, or increase the risk beyond acceptable thresholds. Foregoing contracted service and support without realistic internal resource bandwidth to retain service levels will lead to catastrophe that could wipe away any illusion of cost savings.

This is of course old news to OSS insiders but you’d be amazed a the level of confusion I come across in many mainstream IT shops.  They are being inundated with so much fear, uncertainty, and doubt from both sides of the debate that they are often paralyzed to act one way or the other.

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  • 1 Doug Harr   February 18, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    Good points Mark. It’s always surprising to find CIO’s who have not adopted open source as part of their portfolio. In these difficult economic times, the lower cost advantage will appeal to many. But the good news is, the lower cost still leaves room to pay for professional enterprise support from the best open source providers, particularly since these annual payments are more closely tied to usage than the legacy proprietary model. On top of that, what we really want to do is not just lower cost, but gain access to greater innovation, and increase our adoption of open standards. Weigh these facts in with the rest and the confusion you hear of should subside! More on my blog here: http://blogs.ingres.com/dougharr/