Thursday, July 6, 2017

Open Source in the Cloud

Cloud based infrastructure (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), serverless computing, DevOps architecture; these are all enticing concepts to the start-up business wanting to compete instantly with more mature organizations.  However new approaches to delivering almost limitless computing capacity via the myriad of cloud offerings available today require a fresh look at how to provision the software powering these new capabilities.

Traditional software as a service (SaaS) and annual licensing model vendors are struggling to adapt since their normal metrics for billing customers are changing faster than they can update their spreadsheet formulas.  How do you charge by the core in an elastic cloud environment? 

I suggest the answer will increasingly be an open source model.  Open Source is rarely free of obligation, but it blends smoothly with the new delivery paradigms.  While commercial software still has a niche in specialized applications, at least for a while longer, open source is the future.  The software powered economy will continue to thrive but the underlying intellectual property is quickly becoming a commodity.  Vendors are learning they need to bring value to their customers in the form of exceptional service, providing data insight, and adaption to or even anticipation of ever evolving security threats.  Modern customers above all want to avoid the technical debt associated with vendor lock-in which will hamper growth.  A closed source model is simply no longer flexible or responsive enough to keep pace.

A quick spin through capabilities available with the virtual swipe of a credit card from Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Digital Ocean, and Google Cloud reveals the big players are quickly transforming their business models to adapt and exploit this new landscape with a strong preference for open source.

How has the cloud changed your software procurement patterns?


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