Open Source in the Face of Recession

I’ve been reading a lot of posts lately concerning the recession and the outcome on the tech industry, and open source specifically; such as recent posts by Matt Asay, among others.

Recessions for the tech industry are scary…they always are. But what has always been a catalyst for businesses to cut spending and cash-strap their IT departments will be the vehicle by which open source will emerge. Dana Blankenhorn summarized those points nicely in her blog today:

My feeling is that open source, as a concept, will emerge from this recession dominant. My feeling is it will extend its reach beyond software, into many other areas, because open source is all about pooling resources. Open source as a business model will survive, because it’s an adoption that is meant for days like these.”

Open source isn’t recession proof, but it certainly is recession durable, and will become an even more appealing deployment model in a tighter economy for the same reasons that Dana Blankenhorn pointed out. The collaborative, user-driven approach in which open source software is developed fuels exactly the reasons businesses are looking to cut IT spending.

Whenever you have a downturn in spending, there’s always an impetus to save cash, to do some of the work yourself, to build a competitive advantage, and make every penny count. Just like the dotcom bust nearly a decade ago, that is why open source will emerge better off from this recession then it did going in.