The vocabulary of the IT world is constantly moving terms in and then abruptly back out. Even if a word sticks around for a few years, it may fluctuate between meanings and be interchangeably used with words it may not originally have been a synonym for, causing ongoing confusion. The word “open” has enjoyed a long presence in IT, but what does it mean in the cloud era?
When considering the meaning of “open” in an environment where security breaches are a daily threat to companies using cloud solutions, you should think through the meaning of the term from the enterprise’s standpoint. The cloud provider knows that openness will be important to enterprises.
Of its many varieties, open software has three well-known types:
Open standards refer to a set of guidelines established by a vendor or a group of vendors, then distributed to all vendors to create a set of standards. This allows for interoperability between systems and enables migration from one software solution to another.
Open source refers to the ways that code is written and guarded by its programmers. Code must be made freely available and distributed from licensees. Open source makes it possible for licensees to deliver superior technology, particularly at the infrastructure level.
Open core indicates a type of software that is based on open source but is surrounded by closed source software that’s a value add. These types of models often offer a superior experience because their core is open source, but it’s packaged with closed source software with customized functions for a specific industry or business. It’s often a good choice for users that are not administrators or skilled developers.
Open in the Cloud Era
Does it matter whether or not your software is open? It should matter if you’re concerned about locking in with a particular vendor. The ability to operate in an open software setting is critical because you may want to access cold data, utilize interoperability with other systems, or migrate to a new vendor. Open software determines whether it is possible to engage in these activities, or whether costs will make it prohibitive to do so.
As cloud migration increases and more enterprises are evaluating the freedom and flexibility they need to make cloud technology beneficial, the role of open software is bound to adapt and align with business needs. Open software will play an important role in how investment decisions are made.
One Connect can help you exceed your enterprise’s digital transformation goals. Talk with us about your specific business needs, and we’ll help you evaluate the solutions that best fit your future plans.