Report Cites Lack of Open Source Skills As a Barrier in Enterprises

by Ostatic Staff - Aug. 10, 2011

If you ask many IT administrators what troubles them about open source software, many of them will cite lack of support and adequate documentation. This has been true for years, but it's also true that in recent years most popular open source projects have surprisingly rich support and documentation options available for them. A new post on InfoWorld, though, suggests that skilled workers and training resources for open source projects are lacking. Could the answer be an industry body dedicated to filling that gap?

InfoWorld reports:

"Projects are multiplying, yet a shortage of in-house skills could slow them down...the tools [open source security applications in this case] are more difficult to master than their commercial counterparts, and it might take a year to become really comfortable with some of them."

 As we've reported, free training and documentation resources for open source projects have proliferated in recent years. Likewise, organizations like The Linux Foundation and commercial open source companies such as Red Hat offer substantial training resources, many of them free. Still, InfoWorld cites niche security applications in conjunction with a lack of in-house skills at many companies, and this is a good point.

Could a dedicated third-party company, charging minimal amounts for training for open source software make a difference? Companies such as OpenLogic and Credativ are already focused on the goal, but their messages don't seem to be reaching enterprises en masse. There is still the perception that deploying open source software means accepting a training and support abyss. Companies such as Microsoft take lots of criticism from the open source community for their dominance in enterprises, but the training and support issue is a big part of why Microsoft is dominant there, rather than free, open source solutions.

This is an open source conundrum that has yet to be solved properly.