Ex-Head Of ODSL To Build Open-Source Apps For Vertical Industries - InformationWeek
Software // Enterprise Applications
05:10 PM
Connect Directly
Ransomware: Latest Developments & How to Defend Against Them
Nov 01, 2017
Ransomware is one of the fastest growing types of malware, and new breeds that escalate quickly ar ...Read More>>

Ex-Head Of ODSL To Build Open-Source Apps For Vertical Industries

Participating commercial companies will pay the Collaborative Software Initiative to hire developers and produce applications that can be used across an industry.

Stuart Cohen, the former CEO of Open Source Development Labs, is founding the Collaborative Software Initiative, a firm to develop software for vertical industry players at what he predicts will be half its normal cost.

Participating commercial companies will continue to employ their own developers, producing applications for a competitive advantage. But they will pay the Collaborative Software Initiative to hire developers and produce applications that can be used across their industry. The CSI developers are expected to use open-source code development methods and, after a year's effort, to produce code that can be released as open source. The arrangement "will provide efficiencies for everyone involved," said Cohen in an interview. Several financial services firms, such as Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, and Bank of New York, have told him they need such an organization, he said.

Even though such firms have many software needs in common, such as compliance, human resources, or call center systems, they can seldom simply sit down together to share developers and map out projects. With a tradition of competing with each other, they don't have the immediate common language or culture. Another concern is that the Justice Department scrutinizes how much competitors are working together with a wary eye on restraint of trade.

Cohen said the companies do not need to be persuaded to make the output of the projects they sponsor open source code. On the contrary, they want it adopted as widely as possible by their business partners and the rest of the industry, easing interoperation problems. In addition, broad adoption insures a wider community eventually testing and supporting the software, open source practices that they want to incorporate into their commercial operations.

One of the chief benefits of many parties adopting a piece of open source code is that it gets subjected to testing in different environments. "There is a strength in numbers when it comes to risk mitigation," he noted. Although the first project is likely to focus on financial service industry needs, many vertical industry groups have the potential for developing shared software, including retailing and insurance.

Evan Bauer, former CTO of Credit Suisse First Boston, has been named CTO of the venture.

Cohen said CSI will work through IBM, Novell, and HP to identify the vertical industry projects that it will undertake first. CSI will form the project and provide central hosting and management. He said he has sought advice from Eben Moglen, chairman of the Software Freedom Law Center, and Brian Behlendorf, CTO of CollabNet and co-founder of the Apache Foundation.

"CSI represents the next round of innovation for open development," said Daniel Frye, VP, Open Systems Development at IBM, in a prepared statement.

CSI will "bring together customers with similar IT challenges to jointly develop essential but non-competitive applications," said Ron Hovsepian, CEO of Novell in a prepared statement.

Software produced by CSI will be issued under a still to be determined open source license. It may also be available in as software-as-a-server mode, Cohen said. More information is available at www.csinitiative.com.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
[Interop ITX 2017] State Of DevOps Report
[Interop ITX 2017] State Of DevOps Report
The DevOps movement brings application development and infrastructure operations together to increase efficiency and deploy applications more quickly. But embracing DevOps means making significant cultural, organizational, and technological changes. This research report will examine how and why IT organizations are adopting DevOps methodologies, the effects on their staff and processes, and the tools they are utilizing for the best results.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll