In my last two posts, I discussed the evolution of open source knowledge: where we came from, where are we now, and how did we get here. I provided some examples of common misunderstandings and knowledge gaps and suggested that such gaps may be due to the need to take action without taking as much time to prepare and plan as is optimal. The sum total is that misconceptions and misunderstandings about open source persist both within and outside the software industry.
On a practical level, companies that have not been tracking use of open source software--whether via internal development, out-sourcing, or software acquired from vendors--may suddenly find themselves being held accountable, for example, by being asked for a software bill of materials listing all open source software and applicable licenses. Such a situation then sets in motion some amount of scrambling to answer the request, which may not allow time to think through a thorough and pro-active solution for the future.