Open source's future: More Microsoft, bigger talent shortages

The open source industry in 2008 will be marked by more news out of Microsoft, IBM, Oracle and other big IT vendors, less start-up funding, more M&A activity, and an increasingly serious talent shortage.

That’s all according to Raven Zachary, open source research director for The 451 Group, which is holding its 2nd Annual Client Conference in Boston this week.

Zachary said during a presentation at the event that overall, he is bullish on the market. His optimism is fueled in part by the fact that the traditional bottom-up adoption of open source by developers and systems management pros in enterprises is being complemented in many cases by top-down adoption driven by CIOs and executive committees sold on the potential cost reductions. What’s more, companies are deploying open source not just at the browser and operating system levels, but also across various vertical applications, said Zachary, whose experience in the industry includes once serving as director of Internet technology for La Quinta Inns, where he implemented an open source e-commerce system

The analyst said he is also optimistic because big-name IT vendors known best for their proprietary technologies are embracing open source and collaborative development systems involving ISVs and customers. Open source is “a disruptive force” that has big vendors re-evaluating their business models, licensing schemes and product plans, Zachary said.