In the preceding chapters, we outlined ways to build the necessary skills for using open source in the enterprise. But what happens when you are finished evaluating and implementing an open source project within an organization? In this chapter and the following two chapters, we will look at some of the emerging issues that are shaping the future of open source. At the same time, we will show how your company can manage the risks, and reap the rewards, of participating in the evolution of open source.
In Chapter 1, we proposed that the challenge to using open source was to overcome the lack of productization found in most open source projects. This chapter will examine what it means to be productized, the benefits that accrue to an open source project for doing a better job, and how IT departments can participate in productization to help build skills.
Productization tends to arrive late to open source products, if it comes at all. In many open source projects, the implied attitude toward productization is dismissive, as if the leaders of the project were declaring, “Look, you’ve got the source code; if you can’t figure out what you need from there, perhaps you should not be using this software.” This is a hard-line position: it insists that the only barrier to open source adoption is a skills gap. While few project leaders hold this view consciously, the lack of attention to productization says it all.
Who cares, really? Perhaps ...