Open source was good enough, will non-open source be open enough?

There was a time years ago when open source software in the enterprise often had to be just ‘good enough.’ Over time, use and broader adoption, open source software has now reached the point that it must often be ‘as good or better’ than proprietary alternatives, now typically getting equal consideration from customers and users.

At the same time, we are seeing examples of non-open source players and technologies being used and adopted by customers and communities that, while aware and appreciative of open source software, are often content with non-open source as long as it is ‘open enough.’

Amazon’s cloud APIs are a perfect example of cloud computing technology that is acceptable and open to an extent, but certainly isn’t open source. Do they represent open standards? That’s somewhat unclear, but what does seem clear is that even though they aren’t open source, they may be open enough.

What will this mean for open source and the industry going forward? Matt has covered how cloud computing can be both complimentary and competitive for open source software. I believe this question of ‘open enough’ represents a significant challenge to open source software from non-open source vendors and forces that are learning to adapt to a more open world.

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12 comments ↓

#1 451 CAOS Theory » Open source was good enough, will non-open … | Open Hacking on 12.11.09 at 1:20 pm

[…] here to read the rest: 451 CAOS Theory » Open source was good enough, will non-open … This entry was posted on Friday, December 11th, 2009 at 10:33 am and is filed under Linux, News, […]

#2 Twitter Trackbacks for 451 CAOS Theory » Open source was good enough, will non-open source be open enough? [the451group.com] on Topsy.com on 12.11.09 at 5:46 pm

[…] 451 CAOS Theory » Open source was good enough, will non-open source be open enough? blogs.the451group.com/opensource/2009/12/11/open-source-was-good-enough-will-non-open-source-be-open-enough – view page – cached An open source blog by The 451 Group. […]

#3 Links 13/12/2009: Preview of Linux 2.6.33, Krita Gets €4,000 | Boycott Novell on 12.13.09 at 5:41 am

[…] Open source was good enough, will non-open source be open enough? There was a time years ago when open source software in the enterprise often had to be just ‘good enough.’ Over time, use and broader adoption, open source software has now reached the point that it must often be ‘as good or better’ than proprietary alternatives, now typically getting equal consideration from customers and users. […]

#4 Links 13/12/2009: Preview of Linux 2.6.33, Krita Gets €4,000 | Boycott Novell on 12.13.09 at 5:41 am

[…] Open source was good enough, will non-open source be open enough? There was a time years ago when open source software in the enterprise often had to be just ‘good enough.’ Over time, use and broader adoption, open source software has now reached the point that it must often be ‘as good or better’ than proprietary alternatives, now typically getting equal consideration from customers and users. […]

#5 451 CAOS Theory » Google, Gartner pick open, closed winners on 01.20.10 at 7:18 pm

[…] source or closed, open standards-based or not. In addition, we are also seeing that openness is not necessarily reliant on open source, as we recently […]

#6 451 CAOS Theory » Apple, Google and the open alternative on 02.03.10 at 4:10 pm

[…] begs the question of how open is open enough? The answer inevitably varies for developers, consumers, vendors and enterprises, but it appears […]

#7 451 CAOS Theory » Cloud openness contemplated on 04.14.10 at 6:35 pm

[…] discussion also centered on some issues regarding open standards and how open is open enough for cloud computing? It may depend on who you ask, but I tend to think that the flexibility, […]

#8 451 CAOS Theory » The four pillars of modern IT openness on 02.24.11 at 11:31 am

[…] are truly more open for participation and community. We do wonder what types of standards will be open enough as we push further into cloud computing, devops and other driving trends, but the overall industry […]

#9 451 CAOS Theory » The future of cloud computing is the future for open source on 04.13.11 at 5:25 pm

[…] continue to have some concern about how open will be open enough, and whether that will truly be open and collaborative enough for these new, customer-enabled cloud […]

#10 451 CAOS Theory » Is Android FUD a forebearer of Linux-like success? on 07.11.11 at 11:49 am

[…] and, yes, FUD we saw swirling around Linux a decade ago. And let’s not forget the lesson of open enough, which becomes even more significant given cloud computing and the capabilities it is extending to […]

#11 Open APIs Are the New Open Source » Linux news on 02.14.12 at 2:27 pm

[…] more open, and I believe we’ve reached a point when non-open source software is often “open enough.” The prime examples are cloud APIs from Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN), which are neither open source nor […]

#12 451 CAOS Theory » Open APIs: The Fifth Pillar of Modern IT Openness on 03.23.12 at 4:31 am

[…] More recently, I wrote about what I now consider to be the fifth pillar, which is open application programming interfaces (APIs). Of course, when we talk about ‘open’ anything — open source, open standards, open clouds, open APIs — there tends to be debate about what is really open, how we should define open and who should or should not be able to carry the phrase. My focus on open APIs and on APIs in general generated some good discussion, as well as some pushback, regarding the value of APIs compared to open source software, which APIs are open, and how open is open enough? […]