Degrees of Open



I’ve been invited to speak on a panel at ONS on “Openness.” It is a great honor to be on stage with Dan Pitt (ONF), Margaret Chiosi (AT&T Labs) Prodip Sen (Verizon), Victor Lin (Google). I thought I would share a few of my thoughts before the panel.

Customers of the IT industry have long said that being locked into proprietary platforms has real drawbacks – you are stuck with one vendor’s vision, one product roadmap, and the costs of switching can be high. Not a situation most customers enjoy. More, we have a huge systems integration industry in p​art because of the challenges of getting components from different companies to work with each other.  Finally, a lot of technologies that customers love get left to fade away or are made obsolete when a vendor’s priority changes.

So what’s the option? Go with an open platform. But what is Open? Is it a binary decision? I would argue that it’s not. I like to think of openness on a ten-point scale, with zero being the most closed you can be and ten being totally and completely Open. If you do that you get a map something like this:


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