Silver Lining in Open Source Cloud Computing?

Matt Asay, who I read every day, blogged about how “Cloud Computing” might inhibit open source’s future development.

On this point I disagree. I think that the “cloud” concept, when used in a truly open manner – which will hopefully happen, will drive open source innovation. Sure, companies like Salesforce.com are co-opting the term – but they are not creating truly open clouds, rather closed and inhibiting platforms. SugarCRM, for example,leverages open web-standards and languages, and as we continue to develop as a platform play (a term I am somewhat hesitant to use) – the web and cloud concepts will factor in heavily. I think that there is a huge opportunity here, and just as the early Linux guys built on their servers because that was the order of the day, the next breed of open source developers will be just as smart and looking to work with the de facto standards and available development platforms.

Matt makes a second point, which I also disagree with. He says:

Second, when is the last time you got excited about enterprise software? That market and its ideas are clearly dying. It’s an old world that open source is successfully commodifying. But what comes next?

We are actually VERY excited about enterprise software. (And I know I may be twisting Matt’s thoughts here.) But as open source applications like SugarCRM penetrate the enterprise, that is a major shift. And it is something to note. The Fortune 500 and above are opening up, learning and accepting what open source applications have to offer, and it will cause a major change in the way large companies are put together.

I know that below the application layer, Linux is simply here, and nothing to get too excited about in the enterprise world. But for the application vendors, there is still a lot of battlefields left.

The next few months are going to be exciting times…trust me.

One thought on “Silver Lining in Open Source Cloud Computing?

  1. Hey Martin,

    I also enjoy reading Matt Asay’s blog, though I don’t always agree with him (on software or football, er, soccer). Of course, if we did, it would be boring.

    Here is a link to another, much less active, but particularly interesting blog that I follow via RSS feed (so I don’t have to check every day):

    http://parallax.blogs.com/parallax_calculating_tech/2008/01/why-enterprise.html

    The title is “Why Enterprise Software is Not Dead” and you’ll need a cup of coffee or two, but basically analyzes what the biggest differentiators are between CES (Classic Enterprise Software) and SaaS from a business model (VC) perspective.

    I think that he misses the fact that they these two are not contradictory in the way that, say, Open Source v. Proprietary development models are, as a very astute commentator adds at the bottom of the post. ;-)

    See you at SugarCon!

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