The success of open source lies in its ability to deliver solutions that are too costly to maintain and don't deliver any revenues to providers, a leading strategy consultant and author Geoffrey Moore said at the Open Source Business Conference in San Francisco.
IT vendors for years have falsely assured customers that their software delivers a competitive advantage. But in fact because the solutions the industry sells are available to anyone, only the very first movers profit, and then only for a very short period.
Instead of promising a competitive advantage, the IT industry should let its customers automate their non-core business tasks and allow them to free up resources.
Companies still have to perform such tasks that, from a strategy point of view, are "context" but don't gain anything by performing them in an excellent way.
"The good news is, if you do buy into this argument that the promise of open source is to vacuum mission critical context off the table, you'll have lifetime employment," Moore said.
Open source is in a better position to act as this 'vacuum cleaner' than a proprietary development model because it acts as a community and therefore is better motivated than a commercial entity.
And although the Moore says open source's tasks is to feed off the crumbs that companies drop from their plates, that doesn't mean there isn't any room for innovation.
"I want open source to target context in innovative ways. My context could be your core [business]."
Moore was the author of the best selling 'Crossing the Chasm' and 'Inside the Tornado' books which examined the development of the IT market.
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