Now compare that approach against what I hear from many large enterprises. Like, "cloud services are too risky," or "I'm opting for a private cloud instead" (whatever that may mean to them). Or more practically, "how the hell am I supposed to track thousands of employees using cloud applications all over the Internet when managing local user identity is such a mess?" When it comes to small open source projects, which have grown organically at a rapid pace as enterprise developers collaborate across boundaries, I still hear CIOs say, "I'm not going to trust that code. I don't know where it came from."
After last year's violent contraction of the economy, I get the sense that many large enterprises are hunkering down and avoiding the cost of change more than ever. If so, they're going to miss out on some exciting stuff. To take one example, a number of startups are approaching "big data" in a new way, using Hadoop and other non-SQL approaches to extract value from very large historical databases. One of those companies, Revolution Computing, which specializes in the R language for statistical analysis, just hired as its CEO Norman Nie, the founder of SPSS. "The future belongs to the young and nimble," he says.
We live in an age where many large institutions are not only too big to fail, but too big to thrive. It's become a cliché to say that small businesses deliver most of job growth. Now more than ever the tech industry is providing the tools for those businesses to leap ahead.
This article, "The future belongs to the young and nimble," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Eric Knorr's Modernizing IT blog and follow the latest developments in open source at InfoWorld.com.