It wasn't very long ago that open-source developers struggled to make the market believe that open source was secure, ready for prime-time adoption, etc. Now the debate has shifted to demonstrating just how widespread adoption is and and pointing to case studies of how to get the most from open source.
Enter the U.S. Department of Defense's Open IT Conference (December 11-12 in Washington, D.C.). The conference is a bit different from others, in that so much of the United States' security rides on open-source adoption, as Brigadier General Nickolas G. Justice notes:
Open-source software is part of the integrated network fabric which connects and enables our command and control system to work effectively, as people's lives depend on it. When we rolled into Baghdad, we did it using open source.
Some may not like this use of open source, but it's still an amazing demonstration of how mainstream open source has become.
The conference promises to be an eye-opener on many levels:
Fostering collaboration and interoperability across DOD is enabled by adoption of open standards and architectures, and development practices that minimize redundant software and enable a more agile information environment.
The primary objective of the DOD Open IT Conference is to explore the issues surrounding the deployment of open technology; present case studies on successful use in government organizations; and present practical guides to the use, development, deployment and maintenance of open technology systems within U.S. Department of Defense information technology systems.
I'd encourage you to sign up to attend. It should be fascinating to see how much open source is being used in the world's most finicky IT buyer. If open source can meet the performance and security demands of the U.S. Department of Defense, surely it can enable more pedestrian uses of technology...like selling widgets or managing CRM systems.