Open source software - embrace it or be swamped
South African enterprises are adopting open source solutions at a phenomenal rate - sometimes even bypassing their own IT departments to do so.
Enterprise open source is here to stay - those who don't embrace it will be swamped, says Dr Jan-Jan van der Vyver, MD of Linux Warehouse.
"Gartner predicts that, by 2015, over 95% of mainstream IT companies will use open source in their mission-critical systems," says Van der Vyver. "However, less than 50% will have the processes and procedures in place to make optimal use of the software they are adopting."
Van der Vyver says this is because the business benefits of enterprise open source are starkly clear to business units, which are rushing to adopt it - sometimes even bypassing their own IT and procurement departments in order to benefit from enterprise open source.
"In our own channel, we have had year-on-year growth of 50%, and we're looking at another year of 50% growth ahead - in a market of single-digit growth as a whole. This tells us that those who are implementing realise the value."
However, there are challenges, he says. Not all parts of an enterprise adopt open source at the same rate, and the procurement and management of open source software is different from that used for proprietary software. So the management of open source adoption and use needs to change. "What's happening is that companies are adopting the technology faster than they can cope with it; therefore, they aren't necessarily seeing full value from it yet.
"In cases where IT departments are putting their heads in the sand and ignoring enterprise open source, departments are procuring open source themselves. Those IT departments that are embracing it (along with procurement) are streaking ahead and using it to give their companies a competitive advantage - because it allows them to innovate more on the same budget," he says.
Linux Warehouse, in partnership with ITWeb, will host the upcoming Enterprise Open Source Executive Forum, which will illustrate the significant cost savings and efficiencies possible for business in the open source stack. For more information and to book your seat, click here.