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How to overcome hidden barriers to open source adoption

Paul Rubens | Aug. 13, 2014
Your organisation may be unintentionally biased against free software. Here's how to recognise and overcome that bias -- in procurement agreements as well as in IT departments.

Paul Wander, one of the founders of Inviqa, a PHP consultancy, says he often sees resistance to open source software come from one part of an organization: The IT department. Now that the buying decisions for many solutions come from the marketing department and the CMO rather than the IT department and the CIO, though, this becomes less of a barrier to open source software adoption.

"Many organizations have old-style IT departments that have a narrow-eyed suspicion of open source software, but increasingly they can't do anything to stop it because business people are 100 percent behind it," he says. "So much of the innovative customer-facing software these days is open source, and this is being pushed by the business side and the CMO."

Estimates of the proportion of large businesses that use open source software somewhere in the organization today vary from around 70 percent right up to as much as 98 percent. Even staunch opponents such as Microsoft have now begun to embrace it. As the few remaining barriers are overcome, that figure is likely to rise even further in the near future.


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