News.com has an interview with Kim Polese of SpikeSource, an open-source services company catering to corporate customers. Excerpts:
There is a new generation of companies that are utilizing the Web to deliver their services and that are utilizing open-source software and creating innovations that take advantage of the commodity, of the abundance. And that’s perhaps something that people have missed.
What is sort of interesting right now is that IT developers, architects and chief information officers are aggressively adopting open source. The problem has become how to manage the abundance. There are more than 85,000 different open-source projects today.
All the things that IT is used to, like support documentation, reliability, road maps–none of that exists for open source when you start moving beyond a single component. When you start talking about actually integrating the components into applications, there is no sort of product management for open source. That is where we see an opportunity.
Layering addition stacks and addition services over time–that’s not about taking a huge bite up front or socking IT with these inflated maintenance contracts. But instead it’s providing them with what they need and no more. I believe that ultimately, every software component application is going to be available in some form of open-source software.
Think about the building industry. Doc Searls is someone who talks about this extensively: “Do-it-yourself IT”–The fundamental building blocks, the concrete and the lumber, that is becoming widely available–and a lot of complexity just is inherent in putting those pieces together.
That’s what’s becoming automated now in the companies, like ours, that are getting into the business.