Open Source as a Shared Service

What makes you distinct in your service offering? It can’t be the delivery of the best payroll package? It can’t be the best deployed word processing package? It could be how we take some building blocks and deploy them in a totally innovative way!

It used to be exciting in IT Services. It may still be exciting in Aberystwyth & Bangor where local software development was the model of service delivery for many years (one feels their geographic location had something to do with that however). Perhaps we’re approaching the dawn of a new age where open source code plus cloud computing apis plus most importantly widely available consumer mobile computing devices can be developed into innovative and differentiating service offerings.

Might it be possible that our IT Services departments return to their roots and develop and share code for mobile computing platforms that are then developed further by others into differentiating applications?

Think of it. The time is right. The economics point in this direction. The political agenda (shared services) points in this direction. The technological environment (viz. iPhones and SmartPhones) with application delivery platforms enables this. The move is towards the universal availabilty of consumer computing device and away from the corporate workstation BUT shared code development for these devices points towards a possible future.

3 Replies to “Open Source as a Shared Service”

  1. Not sure the move is away from the corporate workstation. There is a move to mobile devices for personal/social computing but staff and students still need access to large applications through the workstation.

  2. You’re correct to pick me up on that one Stuart. In other posts in our internal inside the firewall closed garden collaboration workspace (read into that my feelings whateverso which you wish) – I have been much clearer in saying we need a multi-tiered offering with the corporate desktop image still of importance for open access areas and for administrative workstations. That’s not to say that I feel the desktop image should remain as it is. I’ve been saying that we need to unlock it and let the world outside come in (invited of course).

    I see the general service offering image of the future being a very lite piece of software; sufficient to give you network connectivity and security; fileshares and very little else. This would be the base service – available to all on PCs, Macs and Linux machines delivered by thin-client. The “supported” image would then be the tier above and would take two flavours – one configured and locked-down (mainly for administrators) and the other with the ability to locally install software etc.

    Hope that explains my position a bit better 🙂

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