A recently published article in Information Week titled: Collaboration Is At The Heart Of Open Source Content Management, part of IW's coverage on: The Open Source Enterprise describes in great detail how open source collaboration and social networking platforms are conquering new territory as companies look to build Web sites designed from the ground up to support social interaction. I found the article to be reinforcing and yet another great explanation of why/how open source technology is finally being considered a viable alternative to closed, commercially available, off-the-shelf software.
Drupal is heavily featured in the article, largely due to its rising acceptance and growth in market share. This seems to be due, in large part, not only to the fantastic mix of features and benefits offered by the CMF but also due to the current turbulent economic/market conditions we are facing and forcing corporations and organizations to do more with less. The article describes in a detailed narrative a number of reasons why large corporations and organizations, previously the domain of commercial, closed-source platforms and solutions, are now turning to FOSS platforms such as Drupal.
Gone are the days when companies fretted over the viability of open source development business models, or when political or cultural ideals played a part in whether to use open source. Open source companies have proven they can go toe-to-toe with proprietary vendors to solve real business problems. Today, companies size up these open source content management products with bottom-line objectivity. And that’s progress.
Among the stated benefits:
- Web 2.0 features built in from the start, making collaboration more vibrant
- Use of open standards means some can plug into proprietary platforms
The risks included:
- Companies need to choose and vet modules knowing what in-house development skills are needed
- Proprietary vendors are adding collaboration features quickly, so open source’s early lead might not last
In all honesty, I think the rewards far outweigh the risks, especially in regard to a mature, stable and community supported platform like Drupal. Granted, every technology decision should be carefully evaluated and scrutinized based on organizational priorities, current technology portfolio and risk measures, but the choice between a COTS solution versus a FOSS solution shouldn't differ that radically. Using Open Source solutions is not a trend or a fad. I firmly believe open source technology is the future for businesses and organizations alike. In future posts I will continue to make the case for adopting open source technology and why I believe it will provide a definitive strategic and competitive advantage.