Janik Vonrotz


2 min read

Open Source Software is not free

Open Source Software (OSS) is free to access. Everybody can download the code, change it and build something new. This requires expertise. Expertise that is hard to find on the market. Therefore open source software is not free.

Can you follow my argument? This thought originated from the claim people made about OSS. “If something is for free, it cannot be good”, many claimed. This is true in economics, but hardly applicable to OSS. Using OSS requires knowledge and competence. There is nobody to blame if it does not work. Even if you file an issue on GitHub describing your problem, it might simply be ignored.

Now the question arises: “Why should I acquire the experise of using OSS if I can pay someone to handle software for me?” Yea! Why the heck should I - in the digital age where the richest companies are IT companies - invest in digital know-how?
I obviously do not have to answer this question.

digital transformation

Oh boy, how I despise the term “digital transformation”. Everybody talks about it, but nobody knows about it. Is it about diversifying your investment portfolio across the IT sector? Is it about the paperless office? Is it about e-government? Is it about modifying the body with computer chips? Is it about talking with my fridge?

No no no and no, it is definitely not about these things. The digital transformation, to me at least, is about admitting that IT matters to your business model and therefore not treating it simply as a cost account in your financial reports. Software matters more than ever. If your company wants to persist, it has to see how software can be of help.

Using OSS fosters competencies and know-how for the digital age.

the new management model

Did you have business administration in high school and seen this picture:

The New St. Gallen Management Model

The “The New St. Gallen Management Model” is a systemic management reference framework. This model is well known and accepted all over the world.
The IT process is often placed in the support process section. Most companies treat IT as cost account. In my opinion it must be treated as a core-process. Only then a company can truly utilize the advantages of software.

Make software your competence, find new ways to elevate your business model and never talk about digital transformation again.

Categories: Thoughts
Tags: oss , open source software