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Strategies for successfully deploying open source

Enterprises can get a lot more out of open source, if they put more into it. Baseline magazine identifies 10 strategies for facilitating the success of an open-source implementation.

Now that open source has become standard fare for enterprises, it's time for them to get smart about open-source implementations. Baseline magazine picks out six technologies that haven't lived up to their hype, including software-oriented architecture and software as a service, but open source, with an enterprise penetration rate of 85 percent that is rising, according to Gartner, is probably underhyped, given its ability to drive down costs and boost innovation.

But that doesn't mean that an enterprise should deploy open source without proper planning. To facilitate such planning, Baseline has identified 10 strategies for facilitating the success of an open-source implementation.

Most of the tips also apply to proprietary software deployments (e.g., "maintain separate environments for testing and production"), but a few are specific to open source. One such principle is the importance of community involvement:

The corollary to this--"work with open-source project leaders when changing the code"--also makes Baseline's list, and would go a long way toward ensuring that enterprise adoption of open source reaches maximum efficiency. Instead of thousands of enterprises modifying open-source projects in isolation, contributing back code and getting involved in the relevant communities would help enterprises to coordinate and pool resources across industries.

The potential gains in productivity and software improvements could be enormous, which is one reason Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst has called for greater enterprise involvement in open-source communities. Sure, the lawyers think that it's going to be tough, but the payoff is worth it.