Is ignorance open source's biggest enemy?

How is it that so few CIOs know that open-source support is actually quite good?

I really like Simon Phipps' comments about CIOs who eschew open-source software because of a perceived lack of support. The problem is not a lack of support. The problem, as Simon indicates, is a lack of understanding about the quality and availability that open-source vendors provide:

Phipps claimed that the "commercial strength support" available for open source is comparable with that provided by proprietary vendors. He also explained that administrators have the option of "hiring experts to train their staff".

"The reason that open source works well for businesses is that it puts you back in control of what you spend money on and when; it doesn't mean that you don't spend money and doesn't mean that you're solely responsible for support," he said.

Amen. How many years has open-source been around? It's shocking to continue to see unmitigated ignorance of the breadth and depth of open-source software and support thereof. Unfortunately, the ignorance is generally at the top of the IT hierarchy. CIOs apparently have no clue that they're running open source in abundance, and often paying for excellent support thereof.

I wish I knew how to immediately remedy the problem, but I don't. Time and patience may be the only answers....

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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