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April 7, 2009

10 Steps to Smooth Open Source Implementations

Filed under: Open Source — Tags: — Olga Belokurskaya @ 4:24 am

Today open source has become standard fare for enterprises, now it’s time for them to get smart about open source implementations.  Though we take into account ability of open source to down costs and boost innovation, that doesn’t mean that deploying open source software within an enterprise should go without proper planning. According to Baseline, there are 10 strategies facilitating the success of an open source implementation.

Here they are:

  • Create governance program to know who and what for uses open source and how the software performs.
  • Create open source review board so it could evaluate in-company requests to use open source products.
  • Thoroughly test the applications.
  • Maintain separate environment for testing and production.
  • Select widely supported platforms for open source platforms with the greatest support are, normally, the most reliable and mature ones.
  • Keep abreast of release changes for open source applications are often updated, and you need to know about new features and capabilities as soon as they are released.
  • Upgrade only when needed, it’s not necessary to upgrade with every release. Focus on key requirements and update only when key requirements like security updates appear.
  • Be active in communities. Open source succeeds because people are improving software all the time. Users’ active approach is a key to success.
  • Any revisions in open source code should be submitted to community for review so it could be included in the mainline code base later.
  • Share successful strategies. Successful adoption of open source is based on best practices and experiences from others.

In fact, community involvement is a very important point. Enterprises can get a lot more out of open source, if they put more into it.  Instead of thousands of enterprises modifying open-source projects in isolation, contributing back code and getting involved in the relevant communities would help enterprises to coordinate and pool resources across industries.

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