Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Do Industry Analysts really get open source?

I was thinking about pinging James Governor and Stephen O'Grady of RedMonk to see what would it take for Redmonk to start blogging on an aspect of open source that never seems to get coverage?

Some folks in the blogosphere are aware that I believe that enterprise architects should not only use open source but should be active in contributing. Contribution doesn't just mean writing code. In fact, I don't think I would want any of my peers doing such a thing as we are kinda second-class in the ecosystem in this regard. Contribution could though come in the form of providing guidance on features that are important for future releases of the product, providing quality assurance testing or even a good word to others on the high quality software that you have successfully deployed.

This of course begs five distinct questions to my friends at Redmonk of which I hope they will provide detailed coverage in future blog entries:

1. What would it take to get any analyst firm to create a written research report that provides guidance on how enterprises can start actively participating in the open source ecosystem? Is Redmonk willing to be first?

2. I have been in somewhat stealth mode but some folks within our own industry vertical are working across Fortune enterprises and will have a public plan to create amongst ourselves, open source software to solve problems that are very costly in hopes of commoditizing this space. Ideally, I would like to get deep analyst coverage but would analyst firms understand that one can be both a creator of software and a user at the same time? The reason I ask is that I attempted to brief two very large analyst firms who wouldn't accept viewpoints of me participating on certain open source projects as a contributor because they couldn't classify my advice into the vendor thinking.

3. If enterprises were to start creating their own open source software, what would you suggest to the remaining enterprisey folks who are hooked like crack on the abstract notion of vendor support and the value it supposedly provides when in reality, it is a crutch?

4. What merit do you think exists for using folks who provide advisory capital such as Stowe Boyd for enterprises who want to partner with other enterprises to create open source software?

5. Do industry analysts have their own opinions as to which forms of licensing are more or less enterprise friendly?

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