Open Source: Why it matters now

There is no doubt the world is faced with the biggest economic crisis since the end of the Second World War. Most economies in the world are in a deep recession and there is no light at the end of the tunnel yet. What will be the impact for IT and R&D departments and how will they be challenged in the next few months?

Analysts like Gartner and IDC see at least a stagnation in IT spending and budgets for 2009. They also see two major challenges for the IT and R&D departments of many companies:

  • reducing costs

  • increasing the speed of innovation

Reducing costs in a crisis economy is obvious. Speeding up innovations may not be. Yet it can help companies to overcome the challenges and emerge from the crisis even stronger than they were before it. The question companies have to ask themselves right now is: “How can we reduce our costs and increase our speed of innovation?”

It is at this point that Open Source Software (OSS) comes to the table. IT and R&D departments today should be thinking about how open source software and frameworks can help them reduce costs while speeding up innovation.

OSS usually gets considered for the following reasons:

  • Cost reduction

  • Reduce vendor dependency (technology lock-in)

  • Gain flexibility and/or compatibility

  • Increase software quality (stability, security, availability)

  • Access to source code

On the other hand there are often concerns voiced about the broad use of OSS in companies. Common concerns include:

  • Availability/level of technical support

  • Degree of maturity

  • Breadth and depth of commitment by OSS communities

There is little doubt that smart use of an open source approach can help companies gain a competitive advantage. During the current crisis, this might even be a survival advantage. IT and R&D need to identify where in their strategy it makes sense to look into open source software and frameworks and work with the community… and in best case, combine open source software and solutions with closed source commercial solutions to get the best out of both worlds.

This is exactly the approach of Polarion Software. We provide our customers with Application Lifecycle and Requirements Management solutions built using open source software and frameworks and refined to meet the needs of professional IT and R&D organizations. This approach helps Polarion deliver significant benefits to our customers:

  • The reduced Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) associated with OSS (no need to develop components which are available as open source)

  • Guaranteed state-of-the-art, best-of-breed technology; embed only open source software from reliable and stable open source communities (e.g. Eclipse, Apache, Subversion)

  • Support and maintenance for open source software; expert guidance from a reliable partner

  • Open standards for flexibility and compatibility; no vendor-proprietary technology lock-in

Polarion’s products and solutions with their “mixed source” approach mean you don’t have to “jump into the deep water” of OSS on your own. You can combine the cost savings and technology/innovation benefits of open source with the reduced risk and “comfort” of having an expert professional vendor as partner. If ever there were a time when that matters, that time is now.

Frank Schröder, CEO
Polarion Software

Want to stay up to date on news from Siemens Digital Industries Software? Click here to choose content that's right for you

Leave a Reply

This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at