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GNU is Not Unix The Almighty Buck IT Technology

Atos Origin Predicts Open Source Landscape 62

Rob writes "IT services provider Atos Origin has predicted a forthcoming change in the software landscape based on the results of a survey it has carried out in conjunction with the UK's National Computing Centre. The survey, which was compiled through over 140 web-based questionnaires completed by senior UK IT professionals in May and June, indicated that over 60% believe open source will either increase its presence in certain business areas or be a fundamental component in core IT systems, while 73% expect open source to develop within their organizations' IT strategy over the next five years."
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Atos Origin Predicts Open Source Landscape

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  • Surprise (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kevin_conaway ( 585204 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @09:27AM (#13320666) Homepage
    Yes users, the time has come. The IT landscape is shifting directions. Fortunately, its shifting in the direction that we provide services for. Come on over to our website, see what we're offering.

    I'm always a little skeptical of companies that fund surveys whose results jive with their business offerings.
    • But why else would they want the survey, but for external validation?

      And why would they use the survey company again if they gave "bad results?"

      I'm not a fan of funded surveys either. Let a third-party decide to do it on their own, anonymously.
    • Actually, Atos Origin is not exactly a OpenSource company. They are much more of a "where ever the contracts take them" sort of organization. Just look at their job postings. There are as many W2K and .NET openings as anything else.
      • They are much more of a "where ever the contracts take them" sort of organization.
        Nothing new, really. I encountered them when they were just Origin - they were basically a [Pricey Whorehouse|Toilet & douche|Androids|the other one] wannabee.
  • From the article... (Score:4, Informative)

    by tcopeland ( 32225 ) * <tom@thomaslee[ ] ['cop' in gap]> on Monday August 15, 2005 @09:28AM (#13320668) Homepage
    There were also a number of technologies that respondents were well aware of, but which most would not consider deploying, with OpenOffice, PostgreSQL, JBoss, Thunderbird, Mambo, Zope, Exim, and Sleepycat, falling into this category.

    That seems odd... I wouldn't expect PostgreSQL to fall into that category, especially with all the EnterpriseDB [] stuff going on.

    Apropos of nothing, if you need to get Jabber to log to a PostgreSQL database, look yonder [].
    • And obviously everyone needs a CMS, Portal, J2EE, and embedded DB? Most people wouldn't consider deploying these full stop. Berkeley DB is prittly much a gold-standard for what it does. Why on earth would you not consider deploying it, if that was what you needed?
  • by jurt1235 ( 834677 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @09:28AM (#13320670) Homepage
    I think the research misses some points:
    How do these companies think they will add the OSS community?
    How do they think they will be supported? (Yes, lame question, I know how OSS support model works, but still, a company manager thinks in terms of support contracts)
    • > How do they think they will be supported?
      I think they expect to be supported by the OSS community itself, without any intervention on their part. Corporate IT managers are smart enough to know that in-house apps are supported in-house, but it's the out-house (sorry, couldn't resist) apps like operating systems, browsers, mail servers and clients that cause them 98 percent of their headaches, mostly in the realm of security. The OSS community has a far better track record of producing fewer exploita
      • If Open Office could really handle every single .doc or .xls that a vendor or a customer sent in, I think the final resistance to Linux would start to disappear.

        The moment that occurs, Microsoft will alter the document format to destroy cross-compatibility. Heck, Microsoft has done it before (compatibility issues between Office '97 and 2000) in order to force consumers to upgrade.

        What really will create support for Linux/OSS would be a set of open standards, supported by all parties, dealing with text d

    • How do these companies think they will add the OSS community?

      Maybe they don't think they will add to it. Maybe they will write an e-mail when they find a bug (if you think that is not valuable, ask a developer). Maybe they will pay an OSS vendor for a software support contract.

      How do they think they will be supported? (Yes, lame question, I know how OSS support model works, but still, a company manager thinks in terms of support contracts)

      In addition to software contracts, which I already mentioned
    • slashdot's sarch sucks, so i can't find original comment, it was worded very nicely :)

      they will add marketshare. that will improve hardware (mostly drivers/specifications) & software (especially the ones that come with your digital photocamera, scanner etcetc) support.

      they will use decent browsers, so there will be more motivation to create webpages that are closer to standards than browser bug workarounds.

      more people will be exposed to oss at work, so when they will find out that this software is free
      • I know (-:.

        I just hope that they will make donations, or really buy the support in such a way that it reaches the developers. They are what keeps the system going.

        If a product is so good that it needs only minimal support, a direct donation to the organization or individual which develops this product would be the nice and probably the sane thing to do.
        They are saving big bucks with the use of OSS (whatever TCO studies says, I see the saving big time around me), so lets hope they are wise enough to give s
  • by Anonymous Coward
    seems like a pretty shoddy way to survey to me.
  • That should change when version 5 [] is stable. It'll finally be up to par with MS. I wonder why OHUKON was left out of the survey?
    • Not even close (Score:3, Informative)

      by mgkimsal2 ( 200677 )
      It'll finally be up to par with MS.

      WHOAH. I take it you don't use MS SQL Server (or possibly even the MSDE)?

      I'm qualifying this by saying that I've been primarily a LAMP developer for going on 9 years. MySQL is great for many things, and no, I'm not even going to be condescending and say just "small" projects. I've seen it used on very large projects, and it does fine.

      However, it will not be 'on par' with MS SQL. I dare say MySQL5 won't even be 'on par' with MS SQL Server 2000, which is, what, 5 or 6 ye
  • by rolfwind ( 528248 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @09:32AM (#13320707)
    Frankly I'm surprised it didn't happen earlier and bigger.

    Too bad most custom solutions aren't Open Source. At least open source to the company that uses it. How many companies have at least some custom solution to one problem or another, implemented even in dos, that could be greatly expanded in capability if it simply could be built upon or ported to a more capable platform or what not.

    How often can closed-source one-size-fits-all solutions be the be-all and end-all of your needs?

    Not to mention that closed-source solutions, by there very nature tend to be more inflexible and what's more - organizations grow to depend on them (and their proprietory file formats) more than they should like.
    • I run Redhat Linux on a few computers and I have grown to depend on them more than I should like. I am at the mercy of their proprietary base configuration and the available rpm out there. Just the other day I tried to install a 5 year old open source software and it didn't compile because one of the library has been deprecated. The application is fsv and it uses GTK+ and OpenGL and it no longer compiles, when it did on a previous redhat version. if a simple program that used standard open source techno
      • My question is:

        What is preventing you from going to any other distro?

        It's not that I'm shocked that lock-in can happen with a linux distro - it's simply that I don't see what Red Hat has that is so unique that you couldn't move if you wanted to?

        If you need to move to a distro where you need to use old packages, consider Linux From Scratch. Or consider going into that package that's giving trouble and fixing the problem that won't allow it to compile with the new library. It's work, I know, but such is the
  • by alucinor ( 849600 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @09:33AM (#13320713) Journal
    I currently work for a company that's being employed by Atos to supply the NHS with a J2EE solution. So what I want to know is why if the UK is so keen on open source, are we having to use nothing but AIX backend servers and Win32 web and app servers?

    Because the NHS, like several other areas in UK government IT, are standardizing on Microsoft technologies (yeah, the AIX is IBM, but it's still closed as hell). That means thousands of hospitals and clinics (and other government entities) are locking themselves into Windows for another 10+ years right now!
    • Because it's probably not ATOS decision. I worked with ATOS on a project for a large telecoms company this year and we deployed JBoss on Linux.

      After all, they just provide bodies - they don't care about the technology.
      • Right, I wasn't saying that the problem was Atos, just that the UK government is emphasizing closed source, despite what this study may say. Perhaps the study applies to just private UK business. In that case, I applaud the private sector, but I really pity the British government for locking themselves in to an offshore corporation (especially one like Microsoft) for years to come.

        Well, they knighted Sir William, after all.
    • Yep, we're about to move from a pretty reliable Novell/Linux network to an all-M$ one.

      I won't bore you with why: it's the usual commodity of software/commodity of staff with skills/standardisation/etc.
  • by Peyna ( 14792 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @09:35AM (#13320724) Homepage
    They need to ask the people that will make the actual decision whether or not to implement these things. A lot of times it comes down to a financial or otherwise decision made by someone outside the IT Department. Those are the people that will decide whether or not such a migration takes place. The IT dept will be the ones that have to figure out how to implement it, but chances are they're not the ones making the decision.
    • I wonder whether free software may actually be more widespread already than the "senior IT managers" believe. That's an old trend, according to the word on the street, that its sneaks in among the lower-level staff first. Maybe the stealth approach is no longer necessary.

      I also wonder whether the difference between the actual expected users (73%) and what the same people think will be the users (60%) reflects FUD. Even when using it themselves, they don't believe it will be as widespread as it will. But on
    • I agree with you that the final decision is usually going to be made by an ill-informed PHB (I hate that term, but tis appropriate here).

      What I'm more interested in is the possibility of more programming positions opening up at smaller firms (who would presumably be quicker to adopt OS solutions). I mean, what are the reasons against a firm hiring X number of programmers, having them sift through possible OS software, making a few modifications, then providing support for that software for everyone else w
  • Blinders (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MrCopilot ( 871878 )
    Only 4% of those questioned expected their use of open source software to reduce over the next five years, while 19% were unsure at this stage of the potential influence of open source on their company's IT strategy.

    So 23% interviewed/surveyed worked in Redmond?

    Seriously, you'd have to be still using only a typewriter, to not see the increase of open source in day to day business. (Although, most home users would be suprised at how many aplliances in their homes already run open source software, so wh

  • Bad Naming (Score:4, Funny)

    by jalefkowit ( 101585 ) <jason AT jasonlefkowitz DOT com> on Monday August 15, 2005 @09:40AM (#13320757) Homepage

    "Atos Origin" sounds less like an IT consultancy and more like an Everquest character.

    Once, long before the reign of Lord Xanthar, during the Great Peace of the Radrocks, there arose a mystic wizard of the West. His name was Atos Origin, and to the amazement of the common folk of the realm, he predicted the open source landscape to come...

  • More likely (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    that 100% of companies will use open source to leverage better deals out of commercial software companies. It happens over and over again, and the OSS community never learns.

    As to development? Never happen. Open source API's are too poorly designed, making them difficult to use. Take, for example, openssl and the Microsoft CryptoAPI. Now, anyone who has ever used both of these APIs can tell you that they implement pretty much the same functionality - and that same person will tell you that CryptoAPI is intu
    • Why is this a bad thing? One of the primary benefits of open source in the software economy is competition. They filled the vacuum caused by Microsofts rapid rise to the top. Even if they never rise to the top they will always be their helping to drive down prices and increase quality. Their very presence causes those companies to behave less like a monopoly and more like a competitor. Don't knock that benefit because it's huge for the consumer.
  • by panurge ( 573432 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @09:42AM (#13320775)
    Because the content is interesting and a lot more quantitative than the submitter indicates. The meat includes:

    Of that 73%, 4% expect open source to dominate and be widespread throughout the organization, with the rest expecting the influence of open source software to be limited to core areas, with 41% of those identifying individual business areas as growth opportunities, 17% expecting it to be a fundamental component of core IT systems, and 11% expecting it to be a niche option in non-core IT functions
    This is hardly a ringing endorsement. Even more insteresting is the list further down of predicted successful and unsuccessful technologies. As might be expected, the things actually doing well - Apache, MySQL, are visible and expected to continue to be so. Open Office is clearly seen as a failure. Surprisingly, to my mind, so is Thunderbird. And so is JBoss, while Tomcat seems to be better regarded.

    There is no ammunition here at all for MS-bashers, and the scenario it paints is a bit gloomy. If in 5 years time everybody is still supporting Office - which, regardless of whether it is the MS version or the OO version is, to my mind, still a truly terrible way to meet the day to day needs of most ordinary office workers - we will surely have learnt nothing and done nothing to meet the real needs of business.

    It would be nice to think that this particular survey will go the way of all preductions of the future and be wrong, but actually it seems to point to a growing IT trend - inertia. It makes little difference whether it's computers or SUVs, the answer to all problems is to do more of the same. Perhaps slightly lower fuel consumption immediately offset by dragging around some new feature. 17 inch wheels/monitors? Next year we'll have 19 inch wheels/monitors! And in a nod to the environment, perhaps in 5 years time 5% will be recyclable/OSS. Meanwhile, can anyone explain to me, clearly and convincingly, exactly how the average joe office worker's life benefits from the capabilities of Excel in 2005 versus Lotus 123 in, say, 1990, excluding Y2000 fixes, speed and memory?

    • I suspect growth in Open Source will not occur initially in established American businesses but at home and overseas and new businesses here, as it is currently.

      The casual average home user has less bureacracy against any new thing plus not the budget for things like Microsoft Office, etcetera.

      Overseas, the companies will likely find Opensource cheaper for their budget, they might also like the idea of not supporting or being dependent on an American company (especially governments), or that the software is
    • "Can anyone explain to me, clearly and convincingly, exactly how the average joe office worker's life benefits from the capabilities of Excel in 2005 versus Lotus 123 in, say, 1990, excluding Y2000 fixes, speed and memory?"

      To pick one example, pivot tables []. Pivot tables enable Excel to do a form of OLAP [] that a lot of businesses are getting a lot of mileage out of.

      Note that I'm not a big fan of Excel, or indeed of spreadsheets in general. But I'm not sure the form of the critique given above is fair.

  • What's "expect open source to develop within their organizations' IT strategy" supposed to mean?

    Does it mean modification of software? A Linux or BSD server? Use of a commercial product such as Mac OS or TiVo that is a combination of free and proprietary elements?

    Open source being present in your IT strategy could just mean encouraging people to use Firefox.

  • by MarkEst1973 ( 769601 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @09:45AM (#13320798)
    Functional Programming is -- for me -- on the rise too. I predict a rise in FP in general.

    That said, ASP.NET is growing too. I work for a government consulting company in Northern VA. Most people here only know .NET. The biggest propronents are, naturally, the client-server VB-SQLServer guys who were dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Now that they must create web apps, they think ASP.NET and all its ungodly web controls are the cow's milk (or the kitten's mittens, if you prefer).

    Their rationale? Well, besides coming from MS, many of our projects are hosted on a government network. If you use their boxes, you must use what they installed. That is, Cold Fusion 5 (a monstrosity if I ever saw one) and now .NET.

    If your project does not require one of their servers (that is, you install your own server or the project springs for new hardware), you can install whatever you like. I have a java app running on the same network.

    One of the largest projects we host on that network is being re-rewritten from VB-SQLServer (it also has a web piece in CF5) in .NET by an old stored procedure (T-SQL) guy. This implementation has to be done entirely in web services. He's drank too much of the kool aid.

    In java, there seems to be an entire community that's shunned the over-engineering of EJBs and went with POJOs (Plain Old Java Objects). Why? It just works. It's simple. In my observation, the .net crowd doesn't believe in POCO (Plain Old C# Objects). Everything has to be a webservice or somehow use xml.

    They'll learn (or they won't). Doesn't matter much to me. I've already started using a functional programming language for my java apps. Much, much shorter programs, flexibility out the wazoo, and you don't have to write 10 lines just to get "Hello World" from Standard Out. The secret is the Rhino javascript from Mozilla. It will be included by default in Java 6. Apparently I'm not the only one tired of verbosity.

    In a nutshell, do the simplest thing that could possibly work in the fewest lines of code and the least amount of mental constructs using the highest level language you can get away with. Tune for performance only after you've perfected how it works.

  • Hilarious (Score:3, Informative)

    by overshoot ( 39700 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @09:57AM (#13320865)
    This is a hoot.

    Atos/Origin manages $EMPLOYER's network and has to be one of the most software libre-hostile service organizations around.

  • I did a survey (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I asked the question "Do you usually give the answer the person taking a survey wants to hear?"

    The overwhelming response was "yes" thus confirming my thesis.
  • One analyst foretells the impending doom of Linux and Open Source software.

    Another analyst predicts that Linux and Open Source shall thrive.

    Yet another produces figures that reveal the demise of things Open Source.

    Another produces figures that back up the growing use of Open Source software.

    One wails in horror at the 'fact' penguins shall be extinct by 2019.

    Rob Enderle predicts that SCO shall topple Microsoft next Tuesday.

    Another analyst predicts the culling of analysts within the next year or so.
  • On the other hand (Score:3, Informative)

    by thelexx ( 237096 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @10:30AM (#13321077)
    Some businesses are burying their heads further up Microsofts ass than ever. The lords on high at the company I work for, a GM sub-subsidiary, just decreed that there will be no open source used for anything, anywhere. The only exceptions will be on a case by case basis providing you have spent the time to write up a business need proposal for why you want something. We can't even run Firefox/Moz anymore and the RHEL desktop I've run for the last three years just went by-by in favor of Win2k. But NO, I'M not fucking bitter...
  • And so, we seem to be advocating it wrong.

    The lists of softwares that they would and would not deploy seem to be marketing driven. That is the only way I can understand that MySQL would be deployed and PosgreSQL not. Also, Exim and Thunderbird on that list seems suspect. People should desist of free software just after they try it (if it is free(beer), they there is no excuse about not trying), not because soembody told them something weird about them. The good news is that Open Office may still be desirab

  • Well done, SCO (Score:3, Insightful)

    by file-exists-p ( 681756 ) on Monday August 15, 2005 @11:09AM (#13321423)

    From the article:

    Meanwhile, there was a clear leader in terms of the perceived inhibitors for open source adoption, with the lack of long-term support scoring 33%, ahead of legal issues related to intellectual property and copyright (21%), and a lack of understanding of the benefits, and a lack of clarity on potential return on investment (both 19%).

    Since -- as far as I know ? -- there is still not ONE case of an open-source project having lost a case of IP violations, we can conclude that SCO did its FUD job very well.


    Go Debian!
    • Regardless of whether they were listening to the FUD that SCO shat out their ass or not is not so important as if they recognized the time and money used to take part in IP violation cases to begin with. Combine that with the possible liability if they use said project as one of their own offerings in some form or fashion and you're looking at a situation that has potential high risk.

      And as we all know, risk is the bane of an established company's management (ie. don't fix something that not broke... jus
  • Well it ain't a surprize anyways. Guys who are leading advocates of these technologies have something *unique* to tell. A while athese sorry ass companies would want to get their heads out of their asses as they can only think of *sell*, they'd rather just *join the party*. But remember you corporate jerk offs, you'll never be able to make it proprietary. NEVER!
  • I wouldn't reach too much into anything coming out of ATOS, especially results of a "survey" among 80 ppl !

    Atos indeed is a large consulting organization, with some weight in the telecoms space, and I remember their stance from the days "Linux isn't a supported product..". Now that the OSS initiative is growing rapidly, and becoming more prevalent, they suddenly jump on the bandwagon and "predict" it will become more prevalent!

    Sounds like a nifty management task of going with the flow if they can't
  • And what does GNU have to do with open source? They are about Free Software only.

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus