Why open source is ready for the enterprise: beyond free stuff
Open source is certainly hot among the tech community, but if you mention the concept to IT leaders in the enterprise environment, they tend to immediately cringe. The inference being that "free stuff" can't possibly match the quality of products you pay for -- and the "DIY approach" is not manageable or secure enough for large enterprises. This kind of rash write-off plainly misses the mark!
What open source actually offers is flexibility, choice, and a new pricing model that allows enterprises to pay for computing systems at the point where they reap value from them. Compare that with the proprietary world in which customers pay in advance for the privilege of using the computing system. Thus, the move to an open source model significantly increases value for vendors and enterprise customers alike. And the shift may be much more subtle than anticipated.
A very simplistic view of the open source model is "getting stuff for free." Naturally, nothing is entirely for free. When software is put into production, there are always costs for updates, hardware fixes, software patches, training staff, new features and so on.