Open Source Software can boost innovation and competitiveness, significant challenges remain
QualiPSo recently published the report of its annual Conference, bringing together top speakers and participants from nearly 30 countries.
Because of its capacity to boost innovation and competitiveness, Open Source Software (OSS) acts as a lever for the transformation of the economy towards a service-based model. Being innovative, flexible and ultra-accessible so it can be skillfully adapted for both high-end solutions or low-cost software for the general public means OSS could contribute to a profound transformation of the IT ecosystem.
However, despite many successes, OSS uptake remains slowed by certain myths and misconceptions in the industry, and some barriers are still perceived by mainstream users. Challenges to be taken up include:
- Trust and Certification: If some methods already exist (OpenBRR, etc.), a common approach to OSS and traditional software would be of prime interest for a mainstream adoption of OSS across the industry.
- Legal: The current OSS legal and IPR situation needs to be clarified, focusing on a limited number of licenses. More attention paid to internationalization and compliance with local regulations (notably in Europe) is of prime importance. More formal procedures to manage legal and IP issues should be set up both in communities and end-user organizations.
- Business model: Reasonable business models will be key to encourage the development and mainstream adoption of Open Source Software. It appears that the “Product + Services” model may become the most common business model in the near term. Capacity to bring together a large stakeholder ecosystem will be key to success.
- Development and interoperability. As OSS grows into the mainstream, new initiatives in OSS development methods and environments (software forges, document management and interoperability) are needed to satisfy a broader set of user requirements. Open Source methods will increasingly be applied to enterprises’ development processes, changing the way business applications are developed.
The QualiPSo report details analyses and covers insights on the state of the OSS market and future trends by leading players. It also highlights key directions QualiPSo research is taking to try and resolve these issues. The report can be downloaded at: http://www.qualipso.org/qualipso_conference
The next QualiPSo Conference “Innovation and Competitiveness” will be held at the Open World Forum, in Paris on 1-2 December
Founded by a heavyweight group of communities and IT players (including QualiPSo) at the hub of the FLOSS (Free Libre and Open Source Software) movement, the Open World Forum will provide an international venue where FLOSS community members, politicians, IT decision makers, software project managers, leading-edge researchers and academics can meet to strengthen collaboration, cross-fertilize ideas and consolidate research and initiatives in FLOSS. The Open World Forum program will be formally announced in September 2008. http://www.openworldforum.org
QualiPSo, a unique alliance of ICT industry players, SMEs, governments and academics whose role it is to help industry and governments fuel innovation and competitiveness in the field of Open Source software. Founded at the end of 2006, the consortium sets out to define and implement the technologies, processes and policies needed to facilitate the development and use of Open Source software components with the same level of trust traditionally enjoyed by proprietary software. QualiPSo is the largest ever Open Source initiative funded by the European Commission, as part of the Information Society Technologies (IST) initiative.