Friday, April 10, 2009

Reaping the benefits of Open Source

A few months ago, a Gartner report, The State of Open Source 2008, mentioned: “By 2012, more than 90 percent of enterprises will use Open Source in direct or embedded forms.” The report added: “Open Source is a phenomenon with a broad impact. Chances are, if you do not think you use it, then you use it; and if you think you do use it, then you use lots more of it than you know.”

Why is Open Source becoming so pervasive? The reason is that we are now entering an era of Collaborative Innovation. Open Source Software (OSS) is the leading example of this trend, but the Open Source development model based on collaboration, community and the shared ownership of knowledge is rapidly expanding to other areas like content (Wikipedia), medicine (Open Source Drug Discovery), scientific publishing (Public Library of Science) and other areas of society.

With 1.5 billion people online, the Internet, which is the largest collaborative platform that mankind has ever seen, has enabled OSS like Linux, Apache, Mozilla Firefox, Open Office and others to flourish. In the next couple of years another 600 million people will join the Internet. Thus the trend towards increasing collaboration is only set to grow and this is reflected in the explosive growth of Open Source projects on websites like and other collaborative websites.

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