I’ve been an advocate of open source software for quite some time now. Part of the reason for this advocacy was my experience selling a proprietary learning management system. I saw how customers could become hand-cuffed to a technology once they had put a critical amount of data into the system and could no longer get it out. This wasn’t just our company but everyone in the business.
Matt Asay, in a case study from University of Nebraska (that’s an academic client folks), once again shows why open source is better for the customer in the long run:
You buy into a Microsoft (or Oracle, or ….) ecosystem, and they provide all the tools to get you in deeper, and to keep you there. There are good reasons for Microsoft to do this, reasons which have nothing to do with pernicious business practices. One reason is that Microsoft can better control the total user experience if it controls all the interlocking pieces, just as Apple does on its computers.But therein lies both the promise and peril of a vendor-dominated ecosystem. It’s hard to get out once you get in.
Here are some of my past discussions on open source for learning:
How open source has a much lower total cost of ownership.
A Canadian case study on open source in education.
Open source is recommended by impartial research organisations.