Open source a key trend, says Didata

By   |  May 6, 2003

Open source, distributed architectures, Web services and ISO 17799 are the key requirements business will demand from the technology industry this year, says Didata North America CTO Craig Miller. Software product quality will also be high on the agenda, says Miller.

Miller says with increasing focus on the cost of licensing proprietary software, businesses will be looking towards open-source alternatives more than ever before. \”The key questions that face open-source adoption have been answered, paving the way for growing acceptance in the corporate world.\” These questions relate to whether open-source works, whether it scales, whether it is secure and whether there is support for it. Additionally, companies need the assurance that major software companies support open-source software – which most do, says Miller.

Miller says distributed architectures will also become increasingly common because the monolithic applications of the past simply cannot effectively address the diverse requirements of modern business. \”Historically, the connection of disparate systems throughout the enterprise to produce a whole has resulted in tremendous complexity and lock-in, as one cannot change a single system without impacting on ten others,\” he says. \”Software must suit business, and not the other way around.\”

Miller says monolithic applications will be shattered into component parts to create a \’building blocks\’approach to solving business problems. Architecturally, these components could be disparately located throughout the enterprise; essentially their boundaries will disappear. Business solutions will be realised by accessing the appropriate components through an enterprise bus, explains Miller.

With the industry moving closer to pervasive standards, Miller anticipates uptake of Web services to escape the hype phase and gain momentum during this year. Web services require standards-based, unified solutions with broad industry support. Web services are becoming a reality that business must consider to improve efficiency and service, he says. Miller draws attention to the fact that while there is a multitude of vendors presently developing Web services, there is a strong likelihood that there will be some consolidation as the industry matures.

Growing awareness of the risks of online business coupled with increasing regulatory requirements will compel businesses to embrace the ISO 17799 security standard, says Miller. \”Up to the release of this standard, companies have been lacking a definition of what security is. More than isolated components such as a firewall or anti-virus software, effective security requires a systemic approach that must protect appropriately, in accordance with company policies and relevant statutory regulations.

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