IBM and Open-source

One of the things I’ve felt IBM’s been strong at in recent years is the way we embrace open-source as a development model, and as a model for providing software to our customers. Eclipse, which has a lot of support from IBM, is a well-known example, but there are plenty of others. I honestly believe that the provision of open-source software gives us a competitive edge over IT organisations of comparable size. Sure, we don’t do it for all our products, but for toolchains like Eclipse it has delivered real benefits - the number of plugins developed for it is testament to that.

Greg at IBM Eye has provided a brief recap of the many software domains in which IBM supports open-source. I think Greg’s analysis is too narrow - there are other benefits to open-source software apart from savings on purchase cost - some of them bogus and some not - but quality and maintainability are certainly side-effects of open-source software, and are worth having even if they’re hard to quantify.


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