Infoworld has kicked of its Bossie Awards this week and at first I thought this was going to a small sop to the Open Source community. Wrong. This is a full court and impressive set of awards and associated reviews showing how far advanced Open Source has become in all phases of development. What really strikes this viewer is two things. First, is the breadth of categories for which Bossies are being awarded: Applications, Networking, Platforms, Software, Security and Storage categories. And as one reader noted Infoworld could have easily strayed from it Enterprise Emphasis and added a number of mobile and desktop categories as well.
The second important point is not that there are very good CMS or CRM or Network support tools as featured in Infoworlds Bossie Slideshows; but rather the number of software categories where Open Source is now leading development.
It should have been obvious – Mozilla with Firefox and Opera have been and continue to lead browser dedevelopment although Apples Safari lite-weight is starting to catch attention This leaves notably Microsoft to play more and more catch up year after year. But this is not the only software category where Open Source leads the way. MySQL with its swappable/replaceable database engines continues to make inroads in database development. JBoss Drools pioneer new development tools in the Business Rules and BPM space while Fair Issacs Blaze Advisor establishes new performance and management standards. MuleESB is setting some key service bus features that all the bigboys now have to follow. OpenLazlo is has set the pace on the RIA developer side forcing both Adobe and Microsoft to match its dual delivery options.
In short the richness of Open Source in the Enterprise will give IT Organizations more options for economizing and or innovating such that outsourcing and offshoring dont have to be the only options on the Board Room Table. In fact, I have said it before but it bears repeating – judicious but bold IT decisions made in this rapidly evolving market will give organizations opportunities for competitive advantage on par with WalMart in BI or Google in large-scale platform deployements. Clearly Open Source will be part of that superior competitive opportunity.