I stoled or as architects like to say, "reused" the title of this post from an interesting article in Computerworld by Steve Duplessie. The article starts out talking about how Web 2.0 will change our world and finishes with an example of a stupid business decision, hence the title, "You can't fix stupid". On the second page Steve has a point that gave me a reason to blog. Here is a quote from the article:
Free means crap, right? Wrong. How many of you keep Yahoo mail running on your BlackBerries along with Exchange because you know Exchange will be down sooner or later? When is the last time Google Mail was down? So my enterprise-caliber application running on an enterprise-caliber infrastructure with enterprise-caliber IT talent is less reliable than my free e-mail? Yep.The "free means crap" perception is still shared by many people these days. Steve's email scenario is one of many real life examples that should help start putting this misguided perception to bed. I struggle to understand how smart people can refuse to at least investigate the possibility of leveraging Open Source software or Google Apps.
Many people are complaining about IT jobs moving offshore. One of the main reasons this is occurring is because IT is being asked to keep their annual budgets flat or even reduced year after year. This is extremely difficult to do when health insurance costs are going through the roof and the IT maintenance costs increase every year as we purchase additional products and services. The "easy" answer is cheap labor. Maybe it is time for an Open Source strategy. Look at how much money we are paying for Microsoft Office and Outlook. How much does it cost to purchase and maintain software like project management tools (project scheduling, portfolio management, requirements management, defect tracking, etc.)? Heck, their are even enterprise packages in the Open Source community for CRM, SOA, and BPM to name a few. Folks, there are alternatives out there that could save big bucks.
Does free mean crap? There are tons of quality free or inexpensive solutions in use by major corporations today. Let me ask you this. Does expensive mean good? Not necessarily.