Can adoption of GNU/Linux help recession?
Terms like “landslide fall” have been heard in abundance this month and it is high time for everyone to realize that we are heading into recession (if we’re already not into it). Though some might argue, that we are still not there, the fact of the matter is that the stock market’s performance resembles the mountain peaks. The picture looks gloomy for a Linux user too.
A bad news for these users has been made public by a statement from Matt Asay of Alfresco; a Linux based open source content management system wherein he states
Short terms – the next few weeks – everyone, whether commercial or proprietary, is going to find life unpleasant.
On the flip side, the long term view for the Open Source users would be good as companies would be looking to shake their budgets and adopt Linux across their company.
The few advantages companies would have on adoption of Linux can be:
- Huge savings as the acquisition cost of Linux is low.
- Minimal operational cost.
- Reduction in advertisement costs.
- No effect on the efficiency of vendors who are into supply and support.
- Growth potential looks the best as compared to any other time.
- Cost leadership would result in less number of job cuts.
- Solutions can be fixed online with the help of the developers in the open source community.
So, the emphasis here lies on being creative. Innovation in recessionary times is always a safe bet. Profitability for a company is the only relevant parameter that would determine the level of their fight against recession.
The additional significant strategies that Open Source companies should execute are the Michael Porter’s competitive strategies viz. Cost leadership, Product differentiation and Focus. As aptly put by Asay,
Make sure you have significant differentiation between what you sell and [what you] give away. Extensions, add-ons, enhanced support experience, online services like SaaS [Software-as-a-Service], hosted [software]. Hosted is a primary area open source should be investing in. Give [customers] the ability to sign up month-to-month. That could be a big winner.
Red Hat has rightly started implementing the accurate practices by venturing into global consulting. Another thing that should be duly remembered is the fact that a company should not lose it current customer base in lieu of gaining new customer base. The abundance of Linux and Open Source technology should be used to develop a new generation of professionals who have the foresightedness to bring an economy out of recession. It is time we shed off those domains which whose authoritative and pecuniary interests have created an oligopolistic scenario in which proprietary software has just benefited a few, rather it is our intellectual logic to substitute contemporary services by using Linux and other open source applications, thus enabling apt allotment of riches and resources further largely and equitably.