How Independent Software Vendors can Capitalize - BrainDump
Give open source databases (OSDBs) two years or less, and they'll be ready to take on the enterprise. That's not just some conclusion I came to out of my head; that's the latest word on the subject from AMR Research, a research firm that specializes in providing analysis on enterprise software. The report has not yet attracted the attention it deserves--but it will. Even IBM and Oracle may start feeling the pressure in the next year, if AMR's view on this can be trusted.
One interesting point made in the report is the role that independent software vendors (ISVs) can play in this trend. There are, after all, distinct cost advantages to ISVs in promoting open source software in general. AMR Research expects many ISVs to start supporting at least one OSDB in the next couple of years, with a real competitive advantage to be gained from supporting an OSDB in the next 12 months. Small and medium-sized businesses are likely to be the most receptive to OSDBs, at least at first. The last time I checked, there were a lot more small and medium-sized businesses in the US than large ones.
True, large businesses can generate more income for an ISV; each large business employs so many people that, whenever they buy something, it involves large numbers. Whether a company is large or small, however, it must deal with some of the same problems, such as expenses and price/performance. On top of that, large companies and small companies regularly end up competing for the same clientele. A large company isn't going to give up any competitive advantage it can get--and if that means going open source, then it's just common sense for an ISV to be prepared to cater to them.
All of this is very good news for a number of reasons. First of all, as I mentioned above, AMR Research is respectable enough to be taken seriously when it writes about enterprise software. Second, it's taking open source in general, and OSDBs in particular, very seriously--which will encourage a lot of professionals to take it seriously. Third, it's accurate about the advantages of open source. Fourth, databases may not be "glamorous," but they're so important to business that any news or trends concerning them--particularly news that offers the possibility of a competitive advantage--can't be ignored. Which boils down to this: so long as OSDBs keep improving, you can smile smugly...because, when it comes to proprietary software-based databases, we can wait them out.