Sunday, January 07, 2007
Taxonomizing Open Source Analysis: Part Two
I am of the opinion that taxonomies shouldn't necessarily be applied to vendors and/or research but could be applied to analyst themselves. For example, if I were to take the Tekrati blog list as one example, wouldn't it be interesting to know which analysts are savage bloggers, which ones only do so periodically and which ones are hiding out?
I would further love to know as a buyer, especially in the open source space whether the analyst themselves have any real-world experiences with open source. For example, in the space of federated identity I can find hints that James Governor of Redmonk not only observed but actually participated. The funny thing is I wish he would blog on topics such as XACML and OpenID a little bit more. If the taxonomy classified not just their assigned coverage areas but what they really knew, that would be wonderful.
Another useful area to consider is having a way for enterprises to rate analyst firms in a transparent manner. Periodically, software vendors in startup mode ping me at work and are curious which analyst firms I respect. From the vendors perspective, they too would like a little more transparency. Consider that software vendors spend a lot of money on analyst relations yet they don't have a great way of measuring the other side. Some analysts in their blogs have mentioned that briefings should always be free and that in each conversation, insight will emerge which has value but from a vendors perspective, knowing that large enterprise customers are on the other end is even more valuable.
Finally, I figured I would share some of the unanswered questions from recent pings to industry analyst firms when it comes to open source in hopes that a couple of them may read it and get their juices flowing:
- Could someone provide me with a listing of Fortune 500 enterprises whose primary business model isn't technology that are not only using open source but also contributing? The reason this is important is that if one of my peers is contributing, I don't have to worry about NDA and the frustration of the reference point being turned into a Fortune 100 Financial Services Firm in New England (Gartner's description of my employer). Likewise, I know that all of the characteristics that make something worthy of the enterprise are there. NOTE: being attached to a vendor who provides support is not necessarily one of them.
- Could you provide me with a listing of open source projects targeted at my industry vertical? I am absolutely sick and tired of hearing about Linux. Its a freakin operating system. Operating systems are things that folks lower on the food chain care about and they certainly don't enable the strategic intent of the business which I am focused on. Honestly, Linux has a great community and is a good piece of work but is not something worthy of all the hype behind it. I need discussions to occur higher up the stack. Ask yourself, do you think that my employer spends more on operating systems or enterprise applications such as CRM, ERP and so on.
- Help me prioritize which standards bodies I should consider joining. I have been commenting on the Liberty Alliance for awhile as losing relevance but with all of the standards bodies out there such as OMG, Oasis, and so on, which will give an enterprise the biggest lift if they decide to become members and more importantly why?
- Don't tell me about Quadrants or Waves and how vendors fit within them. Consider the importance of security. There is limited value in terms of telling me which vendor has the most maturity in the intrusion detection space. There is more value in telling me that I should spend more on intrusion detection than say federated identity which is more important than the insider threat which is more important that entitlements management and so on. Taxonomize the Quadrants and Waves so that I can get a view across them.
- How about a listing of ten open source products that every Enterprise Architect should consider or be fired...
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