Gartner: Open Source Penetrating SaaS Segment

Apr 15, 2008

Open Source software is likely to dominate the Software as a Service (SaaS) segment for reasons of economy and community building says market researcher Gartner: Open Source is cheap, and communities keep it popular.

The Gartner analysts predict that communities will grow around SaaS offerings in the next three years. Community driven software development and the exchange and penetration that they guarantee will be important factors. Community-typical processes such as the evaluation of the usefulness of an offering by the users will also be critical. User and developer communities will tend to grow where the SaaS provider takes care to provide good APIs and communications options, say the Connecticut-based technology monitors. The success of the software will depend on the success of the community.

By 2010, all SaaS providers will run their infrastructure at least partly on Open Source components, says Gartner. Infrastructure is to be understood as the operating system, application server and database. This avoids the need for providers to invest heavily in software, although customers should not expect these savings to be passed on to them, the analysts add.

IT associations should also monitor SaaS offerings that include Open Source. They should warn the providers about issues arising from possible licensing infringements and thus actions by the projects and their legal advisors. The Free Software Foundation also anticipates future issues with free licenses and SaaS and organized asummit on Open Source in the SaaS era mid-March.

Gartner offers a commercial, three-page report on Thema SaaS and Open Source via its website.

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