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Open Source Cloud: Article

Open Solutions Alliance Releases 2009 Member Predictions

Google and Amazon predicted to lead while exclusive proprietary vendors struggle

The Open Solutions Alliance (OSA) announced the results of its 2009 Predictions Survey, which polls high-ranking open source business executives on their forecasts for the year ahead.

The OSA survey results point to new opportunities and challenges for the commercial open source software industry. OSA members remain optimistic that the industry will continue its worldwide growth, echoing sentiments from the 2008 survey. This year, the economic crisis will play a role in the adoption of open solutions, and members agree that software delivery methods as well as bringing Web 2.0 functionalities to the enterprise will be paramount as we venture into a New Year.

The annual survey poses questions to the leading executives at OSA member companies in order to surface forecasts for the coming year. OSA represents more than 20 companies working in the commercial open source software market who collectively talk to thousands of CIOs and business managers throughout each year.

Questions included in this year's survey focus on opportunities and challenges for open source; president-elect Obama's impact on the IT marketplace; and the sustainability of open source business models in an unpredictable economic environment.

Highlights from the Survey included:

Opportunities & Challenges
The economic environment will lead to an increase in adoption of open solutions due to their flexibility, scalability and value. However, proprietary alternatives have been successful during other economic "down times," by lowering prices and adopting alternative delivery models. Also, some OSA members warn customers not to be tempted to put projects on hold until the economy rebounds; businesses can emerge ahead of their competitors after the downturn by investing in open source and enabling projects to proceed and outperform the competition.

Other opportunities surfaced from the Annual Prediction Survey include demand in the government and higher education sectors. Some say this will be due, in part, to the public spending that will be used to "fuel the economy."

President-elect Obama's Impact on IT Industry
Members largely agree that the way President-elect Obama conducted his campaign offers hope that the government will start leading in the adoption of new technologies. Some members say that it is up to the commercial open source industry to "connect the dots" for the new administration so that they can successfully deliver on initiatives in healthcare, clean-tech and open government.

Software Delivery & Business Models
The subscription and SaaS models will continue to help customers who need to pay for what they use, according to OSA members. Members also agree that the service and support model of many open source software companies will hold up this year, but that revenue streams will have to be complemented by delivering additional value to customers.

Members also say that the lines between the consumer and enterprise computing experiences will continue to blur, and that SaaS and cloud computing will dominate the way we use software.

The predicted winners and losers in 2009
Members believe that Google and Amazon will continue to lead through innovation in the cloud, and that exclusive proprietary vendors will struggle to find their edge in a rapidly changing software market.

Members believe that online communities will drive new products and services and that open source companies will be on the forefront of that trend due to their inherent understanding of collaboration.

Other losers cited by members in the year ahead will be "nice to have" software solutions.

More Stories By Open Source News

Enterprise Open Source News Desk trawls the fast-growing world of Professional Open Source for business-relevant items of news, opinion, and insight.

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