Wednesday, April 16, 2008

FLOSS saves industry billions ...

Apparently, FLOSS (Free/Libre and Open Source Software) has saved industry over $60 Billion according to this announcement by Standish Group International.

I'm guessing this is just cost savings in license fees and excludes all the amazing new services and innovations created by people in the FLOSS world. I'm guessing, because unlike all the good work which goes into FLOSS, the Standish Group International's report costs $1,000. I hope they weren't commissioned to produce this report.

If they were, then please, next time, commission an open source group or an academic group or an analyst group like RedMonk so it can be published freely.

Of course, in the future, such data will be a freely available commodity. As new mechanisms for data capture and interaction grow (through social networks to web services to spimes) it will become increasingly important for a company to become the canonical source of information about itself. Companies are likely to make a unprecedented shift towards openness and transparency. This will be good for innovation in society but it will obviously upset those who are not willing to adapt or who make their living by selling aggregated company information back to companies.

N.B. That was not a "prediction", it is already happening.

According to the report, the $60 billion in savings only accounts for 6% of the annual spend; so there is plenty more scope for improvement with a bit more investment and corporate collaboration with open source groups.

Excellent news.

Original report picked up from a tweet by Dion Hinchcliffe