Open source software always seems attractive because of the absence of license fees. However, as we’ll see, not all open source tools are free of cost, and, at the end of the day, you may actually spend more money going the open source route.
The best open source projects represent true community efforts to create software that equals or exceeds commercial rivals. The Linux operating system and unparalleled Apache web server are two poster children for the open source movement.
Over the past 12 years, I’ve seen numerous open source platforms emerge in the web content management (WCM) arena. Today, you can find more than 70 open source WCM packages, although I’d argue that 10 of them have pushed ahead to become true global leaders.
By 2002, evangelists on the (now defunct) Open Source CMS listserv predicted that open source WCM platforms would soon swamp their commercial competitors. About 2 dozen open source WCM platforms have seen meaningful global adoption, yet commercial alternatives remain as vibrant—even dominant—as ever.
The cloud seems to be manna to most analysts, investors, and vendors these days. As my colleague Alan Pelz-Sharpe writes, "It's a great term, ‘Cloud Computing,' since it conjures up visions of an invisible internet—an ether-like zone in the sky where computing power and storage is unfettered by the petty restrictions of boxes, cables, and technicians. Cloud computing sounds fluffy, it sounds cool, it sounds limitless, it sounds like the future."