The Power of Open Source

Open Source opens the door for companies that are looking to keep on growing despite the current environment.

It is a fact that many corporations are starting to consider Open Source technologies as a way to reduce IT spending while taking advantage of existing technologies. It is also a fact that more companies are widening Open Source reach to projects that wouldn't have been considered before, opening more possibilities for the community to spread.

For those who are unfamiliar with the term "Open Source," firstly let me explain a bit more what this is about. In the 90s, the IT community started to show increased interest in freely shared software. As a result, the Open Source Initiative was born and, as described in their website (opensource.org) it is considered "a development method for software that harnesses the power of distributed peer review and transparency of process. The promise of open source is better quality, higher reliability, more flexibility, lower cost and an end to predatory vendor lock-in." Basically, it allows anyone to access freely to an application code and reuse it under certain conditions.

Through the years I have worked in the IT industry -- and I have been around here for quite some time, I have seen that Open Source is becoming more and more popular at every level and sector. Many tech professionals are aware of its cost benefits and thus are suggesting the use of Open Source for new projects.

Open Source in 2009?

Moreover, as a recent article in Wall Street and Technology) mentions, with the current economic situation cutting IT budgets, even more institutions are reconsidering their attitudes toward open source technology. Think about yourself and the company you work for: How many projects did you want to launch but needed to be put off until next year? How many business opportunities you believe you could have embraced if your budget had been friendlier?

I firmly believe that Open Source opens the door for companies that are looking to keep on growing despite the current environment. It is spreading its influence among different kinds of companies. Some of the reasons behind this trend include:

  • It is the perfect ally for budget management
  • Corporations leveraging in Open Source technologies over the past few years have demonstrated their ability to move quicker and at lower costs. That's the case of those firms that, for instance, run SAP on Red Hat open source platform.
  • It allows organizations to be on the edge of innovation and to stay ahead of the market, such as Skype, that is now using PostgreSQL
  • It is extremely flexible. A company with the right skills and experience may blend Open Source with existing proprietary software, therefore taking advantage of already developed code and further reducing costs.

Six years ago, I founded Globant together with 3 friends. Since it was born, the company has helped many of its customers, such as telcos, media or coming from the finance, high tech or the travel industry, profit from this rational blend of Open Source with commercial software. It doesn't matter the industry they came from or the type of solution they were seeking. Our team has developed both products for large audiences and small scale internal solutions, and they have all had excellent results. I always believed in the power of Open Source, and these experiences turned Globant into an expert and an active player of this movement, contributing with thousands of code lines to the Open Source community for projects like Drupal Modules, Dedo, Dogo, Rever and Collaborative Postcards.

I believe that opportunities are wide opened for those corporations that want to continue working on innovative products and still remain on the boundaries of their budget.

Martin Migoya Globant is CEO and Co-founder of Globant. Globant combines a rational blend of Open-Source with proprietary software, which brings flexibility, mitigates risk and ultimately reduces costs. www.globant.com

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