Open Tech Today - Top Stories

Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Yin and Yang of Open Ecosystems

At this week's World Bank event on open technologies, the presentations of Microsoft, Sun and the ODF Alliance drew no blood, but did prompt an interesting dialogue on open source and other open technologies.

To begin, I held up this picture ...

and asked the audience what it was.

My answer: a heterogeneous ecosystem.

My point: all ecosystems are mixed -- your company, your agency, your household, your economy, your ICT ecosystem, and even the table of presenters at the World Bank event which included Microsoft, Sun and the ODF Alliance.

The enemy is neither open or closed technology. The enemy is lock-in. Lock-in to a vendor, format, distribution channel, device, service provider, procurement model, source of financing, licensing model or development methodology.

Technology policies and decisions should all be aimed at breaking lock-in. That is what fuels ...
  • innovation in service delivery;

  • transformation of your business;

  • competition and new business opportunities; and

  • the genius of collaboration.

Where do open technologies fit in? They are designed to break lock-in -- unlocking your services, business processes and data from the hardware and software infrastructure.

So, where to start? Procurement.

Re-visit your procurement rules and practices - how you buy technology. Whether you realize it or not, your procurement is likely limiting your choices and creating some form(s) of lock-in.

Remember -- in our globalized world, there is no such thing as standing still. You are either moving forward or falling behind.

Categories: ecosystem, opensource, WorldBank


The E V A N G E L I S T said...

Ah... well said. Though I don't have to be bothered much about Vendor Lock-in since I am just an Individual user/developer, still I choose to move to GNU/Linux coz it's all about freedom and no one spies you.


Anonymous said...


This is a very good article.

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