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Open-source software's hidden snags

Mary Brandel | May 11, 2010
Tight budgets prompt a look at open source. Users say savings and other benefits are easy to reel in, but there are hitches

Sims adds that it's easier to achieve cultural change at organizations that value resourcefulness and courage, since moving to open source represents a break from the approach that involves seeking traditional answers to difficult problems. "People still say you can't get fired for buying Microsoft or Oracle -- how about, you should get fired for not coming up with the best scenario that meets your company's unique criteria, regardless of conventional wisdom," he says.

As open source matures, companies will begin to get past the misconceptions, understand the implications and balance the benefits with the downsides. "Most of the time when there's a problem, it's because there's an assumption of 'It works, and when it doesn't, we'll fix it ourselves or find the answer on the Internet,' " Driver says. "Or there's an assumption that the cost of acquisition can be extrapolated to total cost of ownership. But there's a care and feeding cost to everything."

 

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