The Case for Open Source Information Management
Taken from excerpts of the report "An Alternative to Major IT Providers" published by CIGREF, France in December 2018
Slide 2 (Formerly 3)
This presentation provides a synopsis of the excellent white paper titled, "Open Source, An Alternative to Major IT Providers" published by CIGREF, France in December 2018.
CIGREF is a network of major French companies and public administrations set up in order to develop its members’ ability to acquire and master digital technology.
Created in 1970, CIGREF is a non-profit organization. It counts among its members some 150 major French corporations and public administrations across all business sectors, all users of digital services. It is a key player and federating body in the digital society, thanks to its high-quality thinking and the extent to which it represents its members.
Slide 3 (Formerly 2)
DISPELLING THE ENTERPRISE OPEN SOURCE MYTHS
According to the 2019 Open Source Security and Risk Analysis report, nearly 100 percent of application code bases contain Open Source software.
It’s only for IT hobbyists
Not true. The world’s largest organizations, including Amazon, Walmart and JPMorgan Chase, not only use Open Source software but have released their own Open Source software so the rest of the world can modify and share their code.
It’s not safe
Not true. If the US National Security Agency and UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) use Open Source software, you can too.
It lacks features to make it useful
Not true. WikiSuite, for example, offers most (over 80 percent) of the data and information management features all organizations need.
It’s not trustworthy
Not true. You can trust Open Source to be supported into perpetuity provided you have an appropriate legal framework in place. Ask us for details.
The ROI is poor
Not true. Open Source software is generally free!
With Information Management solutions from EvoluData, you pay for: configuration, integration, training, testing, tuning, support – not for software or upgrades
Open Source solutions meet today’s challenges: time to market, agility at scale of the company, and open innovation. They facilitate the collaboration on and pooling of software development.
Open Source for Enterprise Information Systems
Software is said to be Open Source when the source code is released under a license that designates it as free and open access. This is also known as Free Open Source Software, or FOSS.
The Four Types of Freedom
These four freedoms are sometimes combined with rules (constraints):
Freedom to access and study the source code and how the program works, to adapt it to your needs
Freedom to run the program
Freedom to access and change/improve the source code and share it
Freedom to copy and redistribute the code
How the Community Ecosystem Works
The end user, often as a customer or client, contributes to the funding of the software development and support.
The developer, as a provider, creates the software. Developers and end users are usually independent, each with their own motivations. They produce or use the software in a production model that combines collaboration, mutual assistance, sharing, and resource pooling.
The IT consultancy integrates the software into the end user's information system. The IT consultancy may contribute to the software development, but does not publish it independently of the software project.
The foundation hosts the code in an environment of neutrality, with rules of governance. Foundations don't create the software they host, but rather assist in community coordination and software program promotion. Where ownership rights are hosted within a foundation, editors[? - who are the editors? This is the first mention.] cannot change the software ownership to proprietary or modify the business model.
The Three Types of License
Non-permissive, also known as copyleft (as opposed to copyright), licenses. The author retains copyright and redistribution must be done under the same license.
In principle, copyleft licenses enable every person who receives a copy of the work permission to reproduce, adapt, or distribute it, with the accompanying requirement that any resulting copies or adaptations are also bound by the same licensing terms.
Contribution to the collective effort becomes a principle and helps to maintain the dynamics of the development. Free copyleft software will remain in copyleft forever.
Permissive, also known as copy-free, licenses have no restrictions on use or redistribution.
Public domain licenses are those in which the copyright has expired or there is no copyright.
The True Costs of Open Source
Project Total = User Rights Cost = Zero + Development Cost + Adaptation and Integration + Professional Support + Other Costs
There are two possibilities for developing future functionalities via Open Source software that an organization is interested in. First, one company is the only party interested in this development: it funds it in full. Second, several companies are interested, so they share the development cost of a common core.
Adaptation and Integration
Most adaptations and integrations are performed by IT consultancies on a chargeable basis. When development for integration into the information system is accepted by the community [company? or if not, I don't know what this sentence means], the entire configuration and customization does not need to be redefined on each update. This helps control operational costs.
Clients normally have the possibility of selecting a provider that will deliver community model Open Source software support and maintenance. This is not the case with Open Source software with subscription, which requires support and maintenance, or with proprietary software.
Changing to Open Source solutions sometimes incurs hidden costs that must be kept in mind. As is the case for many software solutions, investment in in-house or external skills may be necessary. Some skills are rare and therefore expensive. The buyer must expect additional costs when it has to change its practices, modify its organization to adopt collaborative work, participate in development or even venture into the make [what is "the make"? Can a more common expression be used?].
"The market concentration on major IT providers is significantly shifting the decision-making focus. Consequently, urgent action is needed to foster a dynamic alternative ecosystem that can be controlled by user companies. This ecosystem exists in infrastructure software solutions: this is the Open Source universe."
Stéphane Rousseau, Working group coordinator CIO Eiffage and CIGREF administrator
Become familiar with Open Source legal structures
Buyers need to be familiar with Open Source licenses and the various possible business models and fully understand where the intellectual property is situated to be aware of the risks associated with Open Source software. Ultimately, you should be fully aware of the obligations associated with Open Source software. Understanding Open Source software roadmaps, excluding subscription models, is also not so easy.
Discovering talented individuals involved in Open Source is important in order to contract with or employ them and avoid seeing them attracted by other Open Source ecosystem companies.
Integrate Open Source core values and behaviors into organizational norms
Integrating individuals with Open Source cultural values and sense of community – including allocating time commitments to openly contribute to community projects and investing time in learning new technology constructs – may generate cultural tensions. In general, Open Source developers and proponents embody a culture that is very different from the culture in major companies. This represents a real culture change and catalyst for issues: affecting the ability to change delivery modes, organization structure, etc.
Choose an appropriate partner and support approach
Choosing the type and scope of support on the basis of needs and having several contact people instead of just one per major software provider also requires skills. The multiplicity of types of possible support with free [Open Source?] software and the scope of the guarantee and support service to be defined have a certain complexity that buyers should know how to manage.
Embrace "fair play" principles
It should be noted that Open Source requires the IT provider to ensure fair play and the excellence of its model. As the source code is public, the customer or a part of the community may decide to create a fork of the code at any time in the event of a fundamental disagreement.
Facilitate smooth digital transformation
Digital transformation enables a company to find new sources of growth in new markets, or more cost-effective operations in existing markets. The cumbersome rules of traditional publishers can be overcome through Open Source solutions, which can speed up processes and rapidly test sources of growth in an extremely fast-changing economic context. Open Source is a real innovative program accelerator because such software provides technological drivers, in particular, in such sectors of IT agility as DevOps (where mainly Open Source solutions are deployed), the cloud, open APIs, IoT, and so on.
Gain a competitive advantage
Serve untapped needs to gain first-mover advantage. Some organizations have specific needs for which there are no solutions available on the market. Indeed, the more specifically that a technology meets a particular need, the less likely it will be of interest to other companies. This raises the question of make, or buy. Opting to make in Open Source represents a genuine project accelerator if the company has adopted the Open Source mindset. This approach to software acquisition enables overcoming publisher constraints and provides greater autonomy. And it is important to take the development time ratio into account.
Pay for what you use
In the Open Source business model, excluding Open Source subscription products, the user pays for the service to meet an exact need and not for a software annuity. This is one reason why the Open Source alternative is studied carefully.
Facilitate collaboration and agility
In order to gain market share in the sectors of innovation and, more specifically, in artificial intelligence, augmented reality, big data, and analytics, the Big Five tech companies (GAFAM) are placing algorithms in Open Source. Therefore, everyone is using them, and they are becoming the solutions used. R&D departments can network on their algorithms in complete transparency. Lastly, the Open Source ecosystem, a true technological research laboratory, enables companies to identify the emerging technology trends that are in vogue, or growing, and analyze their evolution. Therefore, this ecosystem is a barometer indicating the continuity of the various technologies and their potential to reveal sources of growth.
Produce industry-wide and federated systems
Major organizations are pooling their resources in order to develop common Open Source software solutions within alliances, associations, or industrial sectors (vertical industries). Nowdays, companies are no longer hesitating to group together within inter-company partnerships in order to share their feedback and even pool development. Such is the case of associations like the PGGTIE and TOSIT. In fact, major organizations have already started to pool software development in order to focus on the applications and services side that enable them to stand out in the market.
Reduce enterprise software risks
There is a presumption that Open Source software entails higher risk than procuring software applications under license from a reputed supplier with excellent credentials from industry watchers such as Gartner, Inc. This perception is now being placed under scrutiny by enterprise buyers.
Remove the constraining cost of enterprise IT using licensed software from major vendors
Open Source software enables companies and public administrations to gain independence and autonomy in relation to major providers, and it enables them to achieve their objective of reducing the IT department's budget, although Open Source software does entail a certain cost.
Open Source software has a decisive structural advantage in terms of compliance and IT security over proprietary software, the code of which is closed: Open Source code is visible to all and therefore can be and is analyzed.
Examples of Cross-Industry Cooperation
Case Story - PostgreSQL.fr Association
The aim of the PGGTIE, the Inter-Company Working Group of the PostgreSQL.fr Association in accordance with the French 1901 Law of Associations, is to promote PostgreSQL database management systems in French-speaking countries. The working group’s objective is to pool efforts for three concrete actions involving PostgreSQL:
- Share implementation feedback. Members exchange the irrespective(?) architectures and the consolidation of orders of magnitude on the base and on volumes(?). A toolbox is provided to share and consolidate the respective documents in order to publish their results;
- Encourage organizations to use and adopt PostgreSQL. Also, encourage support by software package publishers.
- Contribute to continuity, improvement, and operability.
Case Story - GENIVI alliance
In the case of GENIVI alliance, the aim of this not-for-profit consortium, founded in 2009 by BMW Group, Delphi, GM, Intel, Magneti-Marelli, Groupe PSA, Visteon, and Wind River Systems, is to create a Linux-based operating system standard for the automotive navigation systems and multimedia systems industry.
Step Number One
Acculturate employees with the Open Source ecosystem (key characteristics of this ecosystem, advantages and disadvantages of Open Source software, and risk management)
Step Number Two
Define criteria for analyzing Open Source software, shared by the entire company and that take into account long-term risk-taking; for example, intellectual property, type of license, user and developer communities, etc.
Step Number Three
Establish governance within the organization for selecting software
Step Number Four
Set up a software selection and support process
In other words, with all possible software solutions, select the optimal balance of:
- Company needs
- Support options
- Open Source software provides technological and strategic advantages in regard to the digital transformation of companies, such as attractiveness to talented individuals and accelerated development of skills. These are reasons why some organizations, strongly supported by their executive committees, have established an “Open Source first” strategy.
- Open Source solutions meet current challenges, such as time to market, information system control, agility at scale of the company, and open innovation.
- Convinced of the power of collective intelligence and the advantages of pooling investments, software development or experience sharing within EIGs or associations, companies and public organizations are getting organized in order to collaborate.
- Selecting an Open Source solution requires a clear understanding of the specifics of this ecosystem to avoid misunderstanding it.
"Compared with the traditional model for publishing software solutions, which shows the limitations of its relevancy, Open Source is better suited to the new codes of co-creation, collaborative production, and open innovation. Open Source has become the go-to component of an IT strategy."
Stéphane Rousseau, Working group coordinator CIO Eiffage and CIGREF administrator
OPEN SOURCE IS MORE CAPABLE THAN YOU MIGHT IMAGINE
EvoluData is a global information management company serving large enterprises.
We leverage value from the Open Source WikiSuite digital platform by creating ready-to-play solutions for our clients around the world. We educate on and promote the use of WikiSuite, and we offer turnkey solutions to meet your very specific information management needs.
We win new clients (and keep them) by providing a portfolio of business-critical information services. Examples are listed below.
- Website Content Management
- Shopping Cart
- Event Management
- Sales Force Management and CRM
- Digital Signage
- Client Support
Explore the three ways to make collaboration work…
- Project Teams
Improve efficiency and reduce the volume of emails by using shared project management tools.
- Social Networking
Empower people to interact and help each other, around a common interest.
- Membership Management
Effectively manage member lists and communications.
Case examples of knowledge management in practice teach us that sharing knowledge requires teams to have a common goal and/or purpose. It demands a unifying "place to share" knowledge and wisdom.
- Knowledge Base
Preserve and share knowledge.
- Multilingual Glossary
Collaborate on a list of terms and their translations.
- Collaborative Book
Work together on the same book (annual report, thesis... ).
Train team members or clients with our learning platform that grows and adapts to your needs.
Deliver and record webinars.
Manage a calendar of webinars and have your team update them.
Encourage online registration.
- Exercises and Quizzes
Create lessons and conduct tests to evaluate and to strengthen learning.
Take the next step to discovering Open Source