After years in which Open Source has found difficulty to spread, partly due to skepticism and to the poor structure of the offer itself, we can now say that this model has finally reached a maturity such that it's starting to be employed by companies more and more frequently, with satisfactory results.
"As many as 73% of companies use Open Source software, while 85% are familiar with Open Source solutions and know other companies that have adopted them. Open source solutions are increasingly used to drive the innovation process of core operations and their adoption in mission-critical processes is now prevalent." This is what confirms the Nextvalue report on the Italian situation, a situation not so far from the international context.
Hovewer, part of the business managers is still reluctant: why? According to the recent studies, "companies often struggle for finding prepared staff for the management of Open Source projects, think for example to Java expert programmers. This tendency is often accompanied by the misunderstanding that Open Source solutions are not assisted, i.e. provided without any advice, training, assistance and support." But is this statement really founded?
Open Source was born with the idea of developing an open software thanks to the collaboration of several IT experts to modify and design an advanced and cutting edge solution starting only from the foundations, i.e. from the source code.
"Give enough eyeballs, all the bugs are shallow" Eric S. Raymond
The sentence above, belonging to one of the most influential IT specialists, contains the meaning of the open model and the community, that is the basis. It means that for each platform there is a community of IT specialists who contributes to the development of projects and solutions from the source code. This means precisely that writing errors are much more easily identifiable and therefore quickly resolvable"
According to supporters of Open Source Software, an element that plays in favour of the open source quality consists in the developers strong motivations and in users, who freely choose to partecipate in the correction of errors.
In most cases, open source software is free software, a concept that perhaps makes it more clear the essence. This model is born to be enjoyed openly. The community itself is born as a spontaneous act, without any kind of constraint, for sharing the knowledge and experience of each developer. There is therefore the possibility that a programmer can suspend the project he was following at any time to help develop others.
When we talk about hesitancy towards the open world we refer more to the reliability of the same community. What we commonly think is that for the same concept according to which the open source community is born to be collaborative and open, in the sense that anyone - with appropriate skills - can partecipate and take action, anyone can even decide to stop suddenly and engage in another projects. At this point we think of a total stoppage of the project, resulting in waste of time and money.
"This panel questioned seems to tell us "more services", a request that the providers in this area should certainly consider, both in the definition of their Open Source portfolio, and in the planning and execution of their strategy of go-to-market. It's not by chance that not only the main Open Source technology providers, such as Red Hat, have a business model focused on training and support services, but also many of the main international System integrators have extended their skills and their services portfolio to the new paradigm, creating in many cases specific practices to help their customers operate with an open architecture."
Support: this is what companies that are approaching open source are asking for and the most important providers are already moving to this direction. In the specific case of Red Hat, the undisputed world leader in the supply of open source solutions for enterprises, the real strength lies in the active collaboration with companies that do not have sufficient IT resources to develop an open project. Therefore, specially designed packages figures who requires assistance at 360 degrees.
This is also the case with Holon platform that cooperates with the vendor company which guarantees training and/or technical support in case it's requested or when a project is suddenly interrupted.
Holon platform offers community documentations and tutorials, training programs, assistance and support and development thanks to a team of experts able to take charge of the management of the customer development project in the phases of activities analysis, implementation of the project, software application, post-delivery support.
For companies that need support, Holon's team provides specific support through the enterprise support agreement. In this way you have the certainty of completing your project, without constraints.
The secret lies in the collaboration not only between experienced developers but also between company and community, a relationship that can further improve the quality level of the final software. In fact, the presence of the supplier company is an added value, because it also means contributing the growth, maturity and succes of the open model. But above all it means greater reliability of the products, therefore fewer worries, more certainties and reassurance for the customers.