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Friday, December 08, 2006

Open Source Predictions for 2007

I recently published a set of open source predictions for 2007 to detail those areas that we in Unisys believe will really take off next year. I’d like to offer a summary of those thoughts here to encourage your views and comments.

Businesses will take a much more holistic, architectural view of implementation and deployment of open source projects rather than managing them in a piecemeal “as needed” fashion. Now that many open source components are really proving themselves as ready-for-prime-time, or as I like to say, “bet-your-business-on-capable”, CIOs and CFOs are really starting to take notice. As such, business executives are now extremely interested in how these pieces can be architected into an organized strategy for enhancing their business, particularly around some sort of a services-oriented architecture (SOA). Perhaps most compelling is the ability to modernize a legacy environment in a well thought out, evolutionary approach.

Another area of rapid adoption will be around vertical solutions, particularly in the public sector, financial services, and communications space. Teams with expertise in both open source technologies and industry solutions will pull together stacks tuned to address business challenges and opportunities in their respective markets. Coupled with the industry verticals will also be more specialized horizontal plays to go after the BI, ECM, and systems (datacenter) management trends. And, I suspect we will see even more open source startup companies formed to go after those specific opportunities in both the pure verticals as well as the horizontal markets.

The opportunities for businesses are huge, and I believe that more SI players will get involved in helping pull together the entire ecosystems for the end-users. An obviously growing corporate trend is to focus more on specific value-add and to “outsource” their non-core activities to a partner who understands their space and can help them meet their business goals. That’s certainly the position Unisys is taking with our open source business model, which is focused on helping clients around the world realize the benefits of open source and open standards without sacrificing any of their mission-critical requirements. Those benefits are obviously a dramatic reduction in datacenter costs and a significant increase in the flexibility of their infrastructure.

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