Mark Driver

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Open Source Predictions For 2010

by Mark Driver  |  December 8, 2009  |  12 Comments

We’ve just published our 2010 predictions research note for open source.  Clients can find it here and can view last year’s here as well.

This research note is a list of some heavy hitting trends that will have a significant impact over the next 12 to 36 months.  It is certainly not the total extent of our OSS related research for the year but is meant as a jumping off point for the 2010 agenda.

For 2010 year we’ve focused on 3 predictions related to the “business of open source”.  Its impossible to do justice to the complete rationale behind these predictions without reading the full note but I’ll share some very brief commentary here anyway.

I’d strongly encourage clients to read the note and even schedule a direct phone conversation to dig into the meat of the predictions and the rationale behind each one..

As an aside, we once assigned probabilities to our strategic planning assumptions (predictions) but in recent years we’ve dropped that practice. Personally I miss the probabilities, they allowed us to make forward thinking statements with measured degrees of confidence.  For example…

  • A 60% probability meant the the prediction was based mostly on a hunch with very limited analytical evidence beyond a small niche of technology elites.
  • A 70% probability meant that we saw early evidence to suggest a strong degree of confidence. For example we might be aware of early vendor R&D pipelines, or innovator/early-adopter activities.
  • An 80% probability meant that we saw very strong momentum among early majority adopters, vendor product portfolios, etc.
  • A 90% probability meant the prediction was virtually a done deal

Typically, predictions would start with a 5 year time line and low probabilities the probabilities would grow as the timeline shrank or we’d abandon the SPA and report why if it didn’t track as predicted.  IMO the model worked very well but alas we don’t use probabilities anymore.  The reasons are varied but we apparently received a lot of feedback that clients simply didn’t understand or consider them in most SPA’s.

The reason mention this is because without probabilities our predictions often come across as “crystal ball’ efforts when in reality there is a lot of research and analyst behind each one. I’ve added probabilities back in this blog entry in an attempt to increase the context of each SPA.

Strategic Planning Assumptions

  • By 2011, growing diversity among open-source adopters will result in three distinct categories of OSS: (1) community projects, with broad developer networks; (2) vendor-centric projects controlled by commercial technology providers; (3) and commercial community projects, which have vendor-independent support channels.

90% probability.  To those with an ‘inside baseball’ perspective on OSS this is already reality.  However most in the mainstream IT community are unaware of the diversity among OSS projects and the recent trends toward vendor controlled communities.  In the next couple of years the issues will become much better understood and we will begin to see a true taxonomy emerge.

  • By 2012, at least 70% of the revenue from commercial OSS will come from vendor-centric projects with dual-license business models.

80% probability.  This is may true today but the lack of revenue among broader market OSS products compared to Linux isn’t large enough yet to make this one a done deal.  What is clear is that the overwhelming majority of ‘commercial oss’ efforts are based on a dual license model – vendor prefer the ‘open core’ moniker because it sounds more OSS friendly but its essentially the same thing.

  • By 2013, more than 50% of new open-source projects will leverage licenses that require code reciprocity (aka “affero”-style licenses) when hosted on external-facing servers; this is an increase from fewer than 5% in 2009.

60% probability.  This prediction is perhaps most controversial.  Its based on a growing trend among new projects I’m tracking, commercial vendor trends, and investor strategies.  This is one to watch.

Key Findings

  • The open source software (OSS) model is not anti-commercial, but it doesn’t depend on commercial success.
  • More-conservative open-source adopters will require a more robust commercial support channel for open-source solutions than technologically aggressive adopters. In these cases, users must often accept compromises between the “open” nature of the OSS model and the competitive realities of commercial software providers.
  • The most successful commercial, open-source vendor strategies rely on dual-license strategies that blend elements of traditional closed-source and open-source dynamics.

Recommendations

  • Differentiate the specific requirements for meeting minimal levels of quality of service (QoS) for individual open-source projects based on maturity and adopter profile.
  • Integrate commercial open-source support strategies into broader enterprise software asset management initiatives.
  • Understand that vendor-centric OSS will sacrifice the breadth and depth of the large developer community for stronger commercial support from a smaller number (often only one) of vendors.
  • Plan for changes in historical open-source licensing and business models driven by emerging software as a service (SaaS) and cloud-computing infrastructures.

12 Comments »

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12 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Open Source Predictions For 2010 | Open Hacking   December 8, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    [...] original here:  Open Source Predictions For 2010 This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 8th, 2009 at 12:25 pm and is filed under Linux, [...]

  • 2 Tweets that mention Open Source Predictions For 2010 -- Topsy.com   December 9, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mark Driver and Jesse Freund, Compiere. Compiere said: @Gartner_inc Open Source Predictions For 2010 – http://bit.ly/55gG8Z – #opensource #opengov #technews #technology #business #news #biz [...]

  • 3 Wrapping Up FOSS Predictions for 2010 with a Look Back » The TEC Blog   December 11, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    [...] view interested me because Mark Driver’s blog post largely revolved around approaches to providing open source software. He considers how adoption [...]

  • 4 henrylow   December 16, 2009 at 12:59 am

    . Often we forget the little guy, the SMB, in our discussions of the comings and goings of the Internet marketing industry. Sure there are times like this when a report surfaces talking about their issues and concerns but, for the most part, we like to talk about big brands and how they do the Internet marketing thing well or not so well

    http://www.onlineuniversalwork.com

  • 5 uberVU - social comments   December 18, 2009 at 6:00 am

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by marksdriver: I just published Gartner’s open source predicts note for 2010. link is at http://tinyurl.com/yhyssvo. let the flaming commence…

  • 6 Wave2.org » Blog Archive » Have a Very Merry Christmas and an Open Source 2010!   December 25, 2009 at 7:21 am

    [...] This is all good of course and has had the result of positioning Open Source directly in the crosshairs of the CIO’s 2010 [...]

  • 7 2010 Tech Predictions That Really Matter   December 31, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    [...] Open Source Predictions for 2010 @Gartner  [...]

  • 8 2010’s Tech Predictions That Really Matter - SparkLive   January 2, 2010 at 4:15 am

    [...] Open Source Predictions for 2010 @Gartner [...]

  • 9 henrylow   January 23, 2010 at 3:02 am

    Often we forget the little guy, the SMB, in our discussions of the comings and goings of the Internet marketing industry. Sure there are times like this when a report surfaces talking about their issues and concerns but, for the most part, we like to talk about big brands and how they do the Internet marketing thing well or not so well.

    http://www.onlineuniversalwork.com

  • 10 tecosystems » Data vs Dual Licensing: Which Will Make More Money?   February 25, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    [...] 80% probability. This is may true today but the lack of revenue among broader market OSS products compared to Linux isn’t large enough yet to make this one a done deal. What is clear is that the overwhelming majority of ‘commercial oss’ efforts are based on a dual license model – vendor prefer the ‘open core’ moniker because it sounds more OSS friendly but its essentially the same thing.” – Mark Driver, Gartner, Open Source Predictions for 2010 [...]

  • 11 ☞ Condemning Developing Nations By Deception « Wild Webmink   February 28, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    [...]  Most notable is the implication that open source is in some way anti-commercial, an assertion Gartner flatly rejects. The opposite is [...]

  • 12 451 CAOS Theory » Dual of denial – on the success and failure of dual licensing   March 1, 2010 at 10:10 am

    [...] especially since, as Stephen O’grady noted it is directly contradicted by Gartner’s prediction that: “By 2012, at least 70% of the revenue from commercial OSS will come from vendor-centric [...]