How Enterprise IT Pros Can Contribute to Open Source Projects

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Undoubtedly, your company uses open source software. But the powers that be might express reluctance when developers want to create or maintain projects on company time. Here is a roadmap to help you convince them otherwise—starting with an internal open source project office.

Open source innovation has a methodology all its own, and it doesn’t follow traditional business processes. The big difference is that open source development is collaborative rather than competitive. This attitude may come naturally to IT people, but not to managers and rarely to people in the C-suite….

To change the corporate attitude about permitting developers to be embedded in open source projects, you need to get other departments to see the benefits in their own terms.

One way to handle this is by finding allies outside software development circles. For instance, human resources execs could be on your side if you can convince them that companies that support open source development are more attractive to prospective employees. A CFO who is motivated by financial cost savings can “do the numbers” for you to, for argument’s sake, demonstrate that investing in a developer who spends 20 hours weekly working on an open source project is still more cost effective than purchasing a not-quite-right IT application.

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