[PLUG] Companies are looking at free, open software

Vijay Patil vijay.patil at gmail.com
Sun Dec 7 19:05:12 IST 2008

Interesting article, following segment from the article is what I
think is important to understand for companies while making a decision
(to use software under free software licenses)

"Still, working with open-source software requires a lot more
self-direction than working with proprietary software. Companies that
aren't working with commercial open-source vendors or consultants will
get a lot less hand-holding than they may be used to."

In other words, it really depends on if the company has IT admin staff
or/and employees who are comfortable/willing using free software. If
they are willing to work hard initially, report problems (if any) to
software maintainers, develop workarounds, create user documentation
etc., then using free software may indeed save cost, IMHO.

This also reminds me total cost of ownership (TCO) analysis, which is
some software companies might use to compare their software with
competition. Such analysis could be difficult (how do you
model/compare quality of support, risk associated with vendor lock in,
non-standard technology, flexibility of software license?)

More interesting question is, how a company (especially in India)
realizes that it benefited (saved cost) from free software, by X
amount. If that amount it significant then they might want (should?)
to use some fraction of it to contributing back (sponsoring a free
software project, a conference, employee time for creating user
documentation/tutorials etc.), to ensure that they continue to benefit
in future or just out of good will. For same reasons a company might
want to donate to Wikipedia.

On Wed, Dec 3, 2008 at 12:36 PM, Manjusha Joshi
<manjusha.joshi at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello,Companies are
> <http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/nov2008/tc20081130_069698.htm>looking
> at  free, open software, with the current financial problems.......news:
> ------------------------------------------------------
> Cost-Conscious Companies Turn to Open-Source Software As the recession puts
> pressure on tech spending, many companies are turning to open-source
> software to handle more IT tasks
> http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/nov2008/tc20081130_069698.htm
> --
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Vijay Patil

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