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5th SARMAF Seminar Non Proprietary (Open Source) VS Proprietary Software. Agenda. Table of Contents. What’s Driving the Change Open Source & Proprietary Software Closing. Objectives. Provide a glimpse of drivers of change causing the new landscape from my experience

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5th SARMAF Seminar

Non Proprietary (Open Source) VS Proprietary Software

table of contents


Table of Contents

What’s Driving the Change

Open Source & Proprietary Software


  • Provide a glimpse of drivers of change causing the new landscape from my experience
    • Technological and content drivers
    • Cultural, ethical and legislative factors
    • Economical drivers – Cost effective solution
origin of recorded information theory of evolution
Origin of Recorded Information – Theory of Evolution





Special Libraries Association





the current situation
The Current Situation
  • Technological and Content Explosion
    • 700 – 2,400 terabytes – annual worldwide production of new information
    • Each terabyte is equivalent of a million ordinary books
    • One-fifth of the information can be found in books, newspapers, periodicals, etc.
    • The rest – OFFICE DOCUMENTS!
    • 200% - growth rate of unstructured information
    • 44 – 100 billion – growth rate of storage market, driven by data, video, and e-business
enterprise content management
Enterprise Content Management
  • Only 20% of corporate data is structured
  • The average knowledge worker spend 40% of time looking for info
  • Up to 70% of content is recreated rather than re-used
  • Turn unstructured data into a information asset.

Marketing materials


Meeting minutes

Structured Data



Emails & Attachments






Rich Media


Unstructured Data



Web Pages

Product Data

Audio & Video


Policies / Procedures

Instant Messages

arthur andersen s houston branch office
Arthur Andersen’s Houston Branch Office

“…perhaps nothing can bring a company down with such amazing speed as misconduct.”

M. Ingerbretsen, Why Companies Fail: The 10 Big Reasons Businesses Crumble, and How to Keep Yours Strong and Solid. (2003)

post enron legislative factors sarbanes oxley act of 2002
Post-Enron Legislative Factors - Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002

Criminalizes records management practices misconduct

  • Increases sanctions for improper document management

- falsifying - altering

- concealing - destroying

  • Maximum sentence of 20 years
  • Applies to documents regarding all matters under

U.S. government jurisdiction

post 9 11 legislative factors usa patriot act
Post 9/11 Legislative Factors – USA Patriot Act

Enhances Counter-terrorism efforts

  • Allows use of surveillance methods against crimes of
  • terror
    • Permits “roving wiretap” to a particular suspect,
    • rather than a particular device
    • Conduct investigation without tipping of terrorists
    • Obtain business records in national security cases
  • Facilitates information sharing and cooperation among

government agencies

  • Updated the law to reflect new technologies and threats
  • Increased penalties for those who commit terrorist
  • crimes.
paradigm shift as society is changing records management is fundamentally the same
Paradigm Shift…as society is changing, records management is fundamentally the same.
  • A Records Management program still has the same fundamental building blocks:
  • Policy
  • Retention Schedules
  • Vital Records Program
  • Disaster Recovery Program
  • Training/Education Program
  • Awareness that the Records Management profession is a mix of risk-management function as well as an information management profession.
  • New industry terms being coined:
    • Assured Records Management
    • Information Lifecycle Management
    • Strategic Information Management
A Necessary Cultural and Paradigm Shifts - Collaboration and Partnerships with Core Enablers and Key Stakeholders…

Business Areas Core Enablers

  • Corporate Governance and Policy
  • Program Implementation
  • Compliance and Risk Management
  • Awareness and Training
  • Standardization
  • Legal
  • Audit
  • Software Development




Legal and


Records Management Program



Knowledge Management

capability skills direction
Capability/Skills Direction


Staff Size*




  • Strategic Records Management Services
    • enterprise wide policy, retention schedules and governance


  • Advisory Services
    • Information Classification (taxonomy/metadata)
    • RM functionality, system upgrades and data migration


  • Operations - Compliance
    • Program audit
    • Disposal management


  • Operations - Administrative
    • Lab notebook management, scanning/indexing, retrieval
    • Paper archive and public release
    • IT support for RM software

* External Peer Benchmark Study

** My opinion

four records management program principles
Four Records Management Program Principles



  • All records are company assets
  • Actionable corporate policies with clear divisional implementation directives and SOP’s
  • All divisions will review records at least annually according to approved retention schedules
  • Implement an audit process to ensure alignment with the program
  • Structure that will support effective integration across the enterprise while allowing flexibility to meet unique divisional and country/region specific needs
  • Policies and processes must ensure accountability within the operating divisions
  • A comprehensive education, review, and audit process implemented at multiple levels
  • A process for capturing lessons learned and best practices

Information Technology

  • All new or modified systems will incorporate RM requirements and functionality
  • Policies must include a section for data classification and access control, allowing for flexibility to change security levels over time
  • Each division will remain the owner of the data in any system


  • All divisions will adopt archiving practices consistent with program requirements
  • All divisions will participate in the development and consistent implementation of data, metadata, and other similar standards for identifying, storing, and managing information
elements and skills needed in the new landscape
Elements and Skills Needed in the New Landscape
  • Consulting skills to serve other corporate professionals as recognized and respected experts
  • Better understanding of the business in which the company is involved.
  • Conduct program audits with a constructive and helpful attitude, not an accusatory one.
  • Participate and engage “communities of practice” in solving problems.
  • Develop more relevant and responsive services oriented to need of the company.
  • Developing criteria for measuring information quality.
  • Understanding of systems and technologies.
  • Understanding of human behavior on how records are created and share information

Platforms managing digital assets are available

  • Proprietary (OpenText, IBM, EMC, etc)
  • FOSS (Alfresco, etc)
what is proprietary software
What is proprietary software?
  • Proprietary software
    • Developed by closed group/ company
    • Sold to clients – per user license
    • May not distribute, copy or modify
    • No access to source code
    • 15 – 20% maintenance fee to access patches, support
what is open source software
What is Open Source Software
  • So what is it?
    • Developed by group of geographically distributed developers, mostly for no pay
    • Usually free of licensing cost
    • Can be copied, modified, redistributed, incorporated in other OSS apps freely
what is open source software1
What is Open Source Software
  • Is it free?
    • Of licensing costs? Mostly, yes, but it needn’t be
    • Some vendors charge for distributing it (like Redhat Linux)
    • Support, training, documentation usually come at a price
what is open source software2
What is Open Source Software
  • Is it Linux? Is it Ubuntu?
    • Linux is one of many 10’s of 1000’s OSS apps
    • On, there are 65,000 apps
  • Is OSS competing with Microsoft
    • Yes, but not as its reason for existence
    • Some OSS apps compete in the same space as MS – Openoffice, Linux, Apache HTTP Server, J2EE app servers etc
why are organisations using oss
Why are organisations using OSS
  • Cost
    • TCO of OSS often lower than proprietary
    • Use of open standards allows broader interoperability
    • Stability & security of OSS often greater than proprietary software
    • No vendor lock-in – can swap out OSS with greater ease
    • Platform independence
    • Access to source
    • Ability to support internally
which governments are using oss
Which governments are using OSS?
  • Some 170 governments (local and national), including 20 of the United States have formal OSS policies
  • South Africa has formalised its OSS position (
what is sa doing
What is SA doing?
  • Adopting a policy in which:
    • Discrimination & prejudice will be avoided. Choices made based on merit
    • OSS & proprietary software given equal opportunity
    • OSS preferable where the direct advantages & disadvantages of OSS & PS are equally strong, & where circumstances
    • Open standards will be a prerequisite for all software development
what is sa doing1
What is SA doing?
  • Adopting a policy in which:
    • Government will encourage partnerships within the wider public sector, the private sector, civil society, the rest of Africa & globally to foster the utilisation of OSS
    • SITA will provide leadership & support for Government institutions
    • OSS model will be adopted for development of Government systems & such systems will be developed to run on OSS platforms.
what is sa doing2
What is SA doing?
  • Gov is already largest user of OSS in SA
  • Northern Cape largest provincial user of OSS
  • Western Cape utilising OSS widely
  • Various gov departments evaluating or using OSS
what is sa doing3
What is SA doing?
  • Recent launch of Impi Linux – SA own Linux distribution based on Debian & distributed in multiple languages
  • Project Meraka – CSIR open source resource centre – support of Dept Science & Tech & Shuttleworth foundation
  • HP chooses open-source software for its Mogalakwena I-Community in the Limpopo province
open source in the ecm space
Open Source in the ECM space
  • Taken serious now by Gartner and other analyst
  • Part of the evolution of FOSS to the Business Application layer
  • Already successfully implemented in some large enterprises ie Adobe etc.
open source vs proprietary
Open source vs proprietary

All software acquisition is risky. Always consider:

  • Acquisition cost - initial and ongoing
  • Training costs - how much re-training is needed?
  • Support costs - in-house or third party?
  • Interoperability - what else does it need to work with?
  • Reliability and security - look at track record

…regardless of whether it is open source or proprietary.

Competing solutions should be evaluated on the same criteria.

open source pros
Open source pros
  • A ready made community
  • Community driven = community serving
  • No licence costs
  • No vendor lock in
  • Infinitely customizable
  • Investment is typically in training staff rather than a third party - staff development!
open source cons
Open source cons
  • Fear of no-one to blame
  • No vendor guarantees
  • Project folding is more common than vendor folding
  • Open source may be incompatible with other deployed software
  • Proprietary software is often more feature rich
  • Documentation quality is variable
be careful
Be careful ....

Do Interface Standards Compress Pricing?

􀂃 Hyundai & Lamborghini both support same “interface standard” for layout of driver

controls (steering wheel, gas, brake, clutch, gearshift, turn signal, speedometer, tach)

􀂃 Hyundai has far greater financial muscle and low cost producer status versus


􀂃 “Interface standard” is not “implementation standard” (horsepower, body styling,

sound system, seat fabric, …)

2006 Lamborghini Murcielago. $279,000 1988 Hyundai Excel, $975

2006 Lamborghini Murcielago. $279,000

1988 Hyundai Excel, $975

ecm applications available in the market
ECM applications available in themarket

Proprietary software

Open Text

 (Hummingbird and Livelink were

merged recently, Hummingbird

Enterprise™ Rebranded to

Livelink ECM – eDOCS™)

IBM Content Manager

 (IBM has acquired Filenet, but do not know about their plans wrt the two products)


Microsoft (Share point)








 Categories: CMS ECM

 Technologies: Java JDBC MySQL Tomcat

 Licenses: GPL

Knowledge Tree

 Categories: ECM

 Technologies: Java

 Licenses: Eclipse Public Licenses: LGPL


 Categories: CMS ECM

 Technologies: Apache HTTP Server MySQL


 Licenses: GPL3

Brazilian development tool

More ….

key challenges in oss
Key Challenges in OSS

Maturity of OSS ECM in RSA and Skills availability

 National

 Internally

 Vendors (Local)

 Change management

 Departmental (ECM is not IT responsibility but a business imperative and supported by IT)

 Current vendors (Fear factor)

 Vendor Support post implementation

SITA Capacity and logistics



Strategic Partner

the dme

Department of Transport Western Cape

Department of Environment and Tourism

Department of Health Western Cape

Department of Minerals and Energy

  • Great opportunity for people in information management profession and in particular records management to:
    • advance the most senior levels
    • Make a positive difference in their organization in the way information, records and knowledge is managed.
    • Go from Records and Information Management professional to a Strategic Information Management professional

… the platform is there.


Thank You

DankieSiyabongaKe a lebohaSiyathokoza

Rudie Bronkhorst

E-mail: [email protected]

Tel: +27 (11) 461 2081