Open Source and the SMB
December 15, 2008
As managers in the SMB space, you must be aware that free open source software is not free.
While the quick download is free. The maintenence of the application and software and the server it is running on is not free. It takes particular skill sets.
As I wrote here you must ensure that your long term goals and vision includes this.
Because if you to choose to go the open source root, it then becomes a must have in your IT hiring process.
I am not stating that it is a negative thing, just that you must plan for it.
You don’t add a new sales line, or open a new distribution centre without planning for it.
Same idea with open source
Often a particular IT staff member will solve a particular pain point via his personal favourite software program that is open source.
Then a year later a different IT staffer solves another pain point with his personal favourite open source software tool.
Then you realize that you have servers running Microsoft Windows, BSD flavours of UNIX, and Several flavours of Linux.
As I have written previously. Complexity is a killer.
The more complexity you have , the more cost it takes to maintain it. And in a small / medium business, that can turn into a jack of all trades, master of none scenario.
Because even the backup software you have has to contend with each of those different servers.
Because ensuring that your databases are maintained when there are 4 different ones, each needing different skill sets.