I’m keeping my eyes open for everything that happens in the space associated with open source and open standards. Open standards are not well developed in engineering and manufacturing space. In my view, CAD / PLM mind share vendors are not on the leading edge of open standard development. I can see multiple reasons to that – traditional orientation on proprietary data, strong competition, IP protection and what is mostly important – business strategy oriented on locking customers on the particular software with strong emphasizing of recurrent revenues coming from upgrades, renewals and next versions.
The following article caught my attention – “UK Government Defines Open Standards as Royalty Free”. It made me think that open source and open standard can have more momentum ahead.
New procurement guidance from the UK government has defined open standards as having “intellectual property made irrevocably available on a royalty free basis”. The document, which has been published by the Cabinet Office, applies to all government departments and says that, when purchasing software, technology infrastructure, security or other goods and services, departments should “wherever possible deploy open standards”.
My perspective on Open and Free was always from the standpoint of marketing practice. Open Source, Freemium Business models – these are examples I mentioned in my blog before as something that may have a significant potential in the future. Companies may develop their own understanding of “open” and “open standards”. It is interesting to see the future trajectory of JT as an open standard. Aras PLM is an example of vendor that developing their position in the market as “enterprise open source”. Will “enterprise open source” develops a different notion of “open source”? How “enterprise open source” will correspond to the notion of “intellectual property made irrevocably available on a royalty free basis” – a good question to ask. I’m going to ask these questions on my Beyond PLM panel during Aras Community Event in April 2011 in Dearborn, MI.
What is my conclusion? In my view Open has a future. “Proprietary” and “customer locking” will be diminished within the time. However, to move between these two polar points takes time and significant amounts of turbulence. Existing vendors, legacy software, business models – cost of change is significant. But cost of saving will be huge on the side of manufacturing and consumers. In my view, companies will need to take the leapfrog in order to compete in a different way.
Freebie. (irrevocably available)