Open Source and Outsourced IT? 1

Organisations which outsource their IT find it difficult to influence technology decisions, especially towards open source. Normally, the contracts are formulated such that the client purchases “services” or business functionality wrapped with service levels and support.

So, some questions:

  • What benefits of open source are there to the customer of such outsourced IT arrangements, if any?
  • For this scenario, and also large IT environments where the cost and risk appetite means effectively “no customisation, no recoding, only COTS building blocks, no internal special versions of software” … can open source offer advantages?
  • If open source can, how do get the large IT suppliers and integrators to upskill and consider open source as part of their offerings? Why would they go through the hassle, cost and risk or supporting openoffice when MS-office will do? Why bother with Apache when customers have out up with IIS for years … and no customer will (1) accept the risk of imposing open source, nor (2) pay extra for the supplier to upskill and learn on the job. How can you effectively inventiveness suppliers to work with open source?