Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Open Source and SaaS

Quite a number of government organizations focus on software development with open source. Main advantages, they say, is no license fees and no vendor lock-in. What they forget, is they will still have a vendor lock-in, namely with the software developer that has adjusted the open source software to fit the needs.

Internationally, there is a strategy of Software as a Service. Main advantages is, that a customer pays per use and no investments in developments have to be made. The software is ready for use. Quite a number of examples are already available, e.g. there is a growing number of service suppliers of Content Management Systems with this business model. Examples are Webnode, Moonfruits, Plone, Virtuoso, but also Microsoft supports this model.

Question will be: do I invest in open source or do I apply SaaS? Other questions will come next, e.g. in the context of CMS as SaaS: how can I switch my content from one SaaS supplier to another? One could state that this is a developing business model, worth investing in in case an organization has a relative small IT department and IT is not the primary business of that organization.

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