Open Source in the Enterprise - InformationWeek
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9/16/2008
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Paige Finkelman
Paige Finkelman
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Open Source in the Enterprise

There is perhaps no better display of collaboration than the open source movement. Watching free software permeate the enterprise, I can't help but cheer for the underdog. Although open source completely undermines a free market economy and turns standard modes of production on its head, it's a movement more and more organizations are leveraging to drive down costs.SourceForge.net lists over 301,000 open source projects currently in the works. Some of the more important open source products include the Linux operating system, Firefox 3.0, and Apache. Apache is perhaps the world's most successful open source case study - powering over two-thirds of the sites on the world wide web.Some groups have forged ahead, capitalized on the free open source movement and established a business by creating value add software products to existing open source platforms. One of our Enterprise 2.0 2008 exhibitors, Acquia, is one such organization. By providing tools to reduce risk and accelerate the adoption of Drupal, Acquia has developed a business model by leveraging the open source movement.We delved into the topic of open source at Enterprise 2.0 2008, covering the subject rightfully within the 'Foundations of Enterprise 2.0' track. Indeed, for some companies, it is core to the foundation underlying their business.In a session titled 'Social Computing Platforms: Three Alternatives for the Enterprise,' panelists explored the three options available to a SMB or large enterprise when deciding on which social computing platform is best. One size does not fit all. And if you're a bootstrapping start-up, open source provides an attractive solution.Several open source platforms were discussed in the session titled 'Open Source Options for Delivering an Enterprise 2.0 Experience.' These platforms not only providing a more cost effective solution, but are also providing increased agility and innovation.As the agenda for Enterprise 2.0 2009 begins to take shape, I would not be surprised to see open source emerging as an increasingly important topic.

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