June 26, 2010 Hatem Ben Yacoub

Say YES to Open Source

Today I was reading on Okaz newspaper a news about a contractor who abused of their confidence and programmed a password change after leaving his position at King Abdul Aziz University. Things that creates troubles in administrative transactions in the entire university.

2010-07-26-23.48.26

Without entering into further details, how this could happen, and why … It’s true that something wrong happened and they assumed the consequences. I’m not talking about the small amount of money they paid to get back the password, but about the scam behind it and the name of the university in question.

I wanted to profit – as usual – and focus again on the strategic decisions of considering Open source as alternative in critical mission projects. Whatever if you are talking about ERP, CRM, BPM, DMS, … the open source alternative is always available and costless compared to proprietary solutions. Best of all, open source is a guarantee to have full control on the business and get lock-free solution.

Imagine if this project was made in an open source ecosystem, the university will never get locks anywhere, and their system might be updated easily and quickly – even if something wrong happened.

Most important things to consider to avoid locks :

  • Adopt Open Source technologies
  • Document everything : Business, communications, code and databases
  • Adopt a backup/restore strategy
  • Adopt a disaster recovery strategy
  • Share the knowledge in a development team, and avoid using only one developer in a large project to minimize cost. Two or more developers will get work done faster and safer.
  • Separate critical mission projects, from new alpha/beta projects. Use SOA as much as possible for integration.
  • Do not go e-Business if you are not ready for it and always provide alternative in case of failure. And consider seriously that the project will fail.
  • finally -in Saudi Arabia specifically- ask for support, Yesser program is doing great work and their consultants might really help to secure your e-Business.

You still don’t trust open source ?

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About the Author

Hatem Ben Yacoub Energy Engineer, Entrepreneur, ICT & eGov Consultant with over 15 years experience. Independent Open Data expert.

(HBY) Consultancy