7 Questions to Ask Open Source Vendors

Campus Technology, August 2012 Digital Issue

Implementing an enterprise system, be it open source or proprietary, is a major commitment. Given that, it's important to verify that any open source project has a stable governance structure built for the long haul. "There are many types of governance, from complex committee structures to one despotic leader,” says Gunnar Hellekson, chief technology strategist for the public sector for Red Hat, an open source vendor.

Like universities, Red Hat has to decide whether it will support a certain piece of open source software—often for as long as 10 years or more. "We look at governance and activity level," adds Hellekson. “We are wary if there is only one leader rather than a diffuse leadership. That tends to increase the risk level.”