Open Source Backers See Downturn Opportunity | Интернет-журнал "Корпоративные информационные системы"
Prominent executives make the case for lower-cost alternatives during the economic crisis.

SAN FRANCISCO — Most tech suppliers aren't too happy about the state of the Tighter budgets brought on by the crisis generally means less IT spending. Proponents of open software don't dispute the challenge, but they argue the current tough times mean there's more opportunity to pitch the advantages of open solutions.

«The economic forecasts are very sobering,» said Ron Hovsepian, CEO of provider

But Hovsepian, who spoke here at the Business Conference (OSBC) on Tuesday, insists and other free, solutions are just what companies wrestling with budget constraints should be considering. providers like (NASDAQ: NOVL) make their money on consulting, implementation and support services.

Ninety-two percent of attendees, who participated in a text message survey at a panel after Hovsepian's keynote, agreed the down could be good for

Panelist Marten Mikos, former CEO at mySQL and an outgoing executive at Sun (which purchased the database software last year in a blockbuster billion-dollar deal), was quick to note there are many high-quality applications, «but customers buy on low price, so in a recession, is that much more attractive both for the applications and the cost of development.»

John Roberts, CEO of SugarCRM, agreed.

«All companies are rethinking the value proposition,» he said. «If you're a 100-percent proprietary software, it's difficult to create unique value.»

In another survey of the room, 63 percent chose «lower total cost of ownership» as the most attractive feature of operating system software.

Dries Buytaert, founder of Drupal.org and CTO of Dupal's chief commercial backer Acquia, said the down has certain other benefits for software development. «There are plenty of unemployed people willing to work on our project for the experience,» he said, which drew a few chuckles from the audience.

Buytaert said 750 people contributed to the Drupal content management software.

Inexpensive but too complex?

Yet adopting may not always be as simple as it seems, with panelists here Tuesday debating whether software was getting too complex. Fifty-three percent of the audience surveyed agreed with the statement that had become more complex than ever, while 27 percent said it was no more complex and 17 said it was less complex.

Roberts said the most basic thing to get right and keep simple is the installation software. «If the installer fails, you are not going to be successful,» he said.


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