Posted by: commonsresource | June 10, 2010

Documentary Evidence! – Open Source Adoption in the Enterprise

Yesterday, I came across a thought provoking post entitled Why aren’t we seeing more adoption of open source in large enterprises? on James McGovern’s Enterprise Architecture: From Incite comes Insight blog. While James accepts the premise that open source software support related issues is a contributing factor, he spends his time exploring other considerations such as “enterprise funding and the inversion model”. While I would encourage you to read his entire post, I found the following passage to be particularly insightful:

The biggest challenge with open source has actually nothing to do with source code. The legal community has figured out which licenses are favorable and enterprise friendly and there are lots of great companies that provide support. What is missing from open source is the notion of free training and good documentation.

After exploring the advantages that commercial software companies like Microsoft have in the areas of training and documentation, James concludes as follows:

Documentation doesn’t just include what ships with a product, but also comes from third party sources such as book publishers. Microsoft and Oracle for example have their own book publishing entities where open source has to fight for the crumbs. In this regard, we run into a chicken-and-egg challenge where publishers won’t publish documentation on open source until the open source community encourages people to spend money on documentation. The mindset of free has been its own worst enemy…

Crumbs. Chicken. Egg. Enemy. Seems evident to me that James, by documenting a real issue that is impacting the adoption of open source in the enterprise, has given us a gift of Documentary Evidence!


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by linusjf, commons re:source™. commons re:source™ said: Documentary Evidence! – new post on James McGovern analysis of factors impacting Open Source Adoption in Enterprise – […]

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