I’ve been recently dealing with trying to change the work culture toward open source software (you can read more about it here: http://community.badvoltage.org/t/developing-community-in-a-centralized-culture/11385)
In a week or so, I have to give a presentation to the people who have the control over our computing resources and (eventually) our executive management and I want to sell open source in the most reasonable way possible.
The ideological reasons are well-established, particularly in a public organization like mine, where it’s a bit questionable to be giving public money and entrusting public data to a single private entity when other options exist. I can talk sense to lawyers and policy makers. IT guys, on the other hand, are a different story.
Practically speaking, how does one make open source software appealing to an organization sold entirely on Microsoft? Not just that, but our IT staff are only Microsoft certified, which means they won’t really want anything to do with Linux. Worse yet, we live and die on Sharepoint (and even Silverlight), which, so far as I know, has no good open source alternative.
Still, I’ve developed a few ideas thus far:
- Adopt a policy to prefer open source technology when / where it’s reasonable to do so
- Employ open data formats where they are available and meet the need
- Deploy Linux to our remote thin clients used by our maintenance staff (there’s a lot of them)
In the end, though, I’m really not an enterprise / server guy. I know the pros / cons of desktop Linux vs Windows, but not a great deal about the server side of things…