A coalition is born

This is the year when the open source movement takes a true step towards embracing business. For most IT directors the topic has...

This is the year when the open source movement takes a true step towards embracing business. For most IT directors the topic has been a major turn-off to date - messianic techies who scarcely know one end of a balance sheet from the other do not connect.

Linux is just part of the equation - the rest covers staffing, training, change management and building a business case.But this month sees the launch of OpenForum Europe, a coalition of major users - such as banks and retailers - with major suppliers to press the business case for open source to financial directors.

The National Computing Centre could play a powerful complementary role. It has long considered linking the technical open source and mainstream business communities.

The main issue linking the Linux community and corporate IT directors will be a desire for true interoperability. Mindful of the umpteen varieties of Unix, including IBM's AIX, there is understandable suspicion at IBM's current push for Linux. However, Microsoft played into the open source community's hands last year with its attempts to ride roughshod over users with licensing changes. This is now coming home to roost.

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