For many in business, the words open source conjures up concepts of hippy idealism where geeks in a spirit of free love give away their work to others for nothing. For many, it’s about as anti-capitalist as you can get. Those many are as gullible as the citizens of Ancient Troy and they should be wary of “Geeks bearing Gifts”.
Open source is one of the deadliest weapons in the arsenal of any experienced strategist. It can be used to remove barriers to entry into an opponent’s business, to encourage standardization around your practice creating a cost of transition for opponents, and it can be used to develop ecosystems to strengthen your position as part of a land grab for new sources of value or even as a source of recruitment of talent.
This session explores these concepts by first laying out the fundamentals of change and how all industry evolves through a commonly re-occuring pattern. Using this we will examine why one size never fits all in management, the explosion of change from big data and cloud computing to why new forms of organisation are emerging that differ from traditional companies. These new organisations compete with ecosystems and use open technologies (open source, open data, open hardware) as a competitive weapon against others. However, you can’t fight then if you don’t understand the changing battleground.
Simon Wardley is a Researcher for CSC’s Leading Edge Forum, a global research and thought leadership community dedicated to helping large organizations become more successful by identifying and adopting Next Practices at the growing intersection between business and information technology. Simon’s focus is on the intersection of IT strategy and new technologies, and he currently leads our research entitled The Clash of the Titans.
Simon’s most recent published research (December 2014) is entitled Of Wonders and Disruption where he attempts to predict the nature of technological and business change over the next 20 years. His previous research covers topics including The Future is More Predictable Than You Think: A Workbook for Value Chain Mapping. Simon has also covered topics including Beware of Geeks Bearing Gifts: Strategies for an Increasingly Open Economy, Learning from Web 2.0 and A Lifecycle Approach to Cloud Computing.
Simon has spent the last 15 years defining future IT strategies for companies in the FMCG, Retail and IT industries. From Canon’s early leadership in the cloud computing space in 2005, to Ubuntu’s recent dominance as the No 1 Cloud operating system.
As a geneticist with a love of mathematics and a fascination in economics, Simon has always found himself dealing with complex systems, whether it’s in behavioural patterns, environmental risks of chemical pollution, developing novel computer systems or managing companies. He is a passionate advocate and researcher in the fields of open source, commoditization, innovation, organizational structure and cybernetics.
Simon is a regular presenter at conferences worldwide, and was voted as one of the UK’s top 50 most influential people in IT in ComputerWeekly’s 2012 and 2011 polls.
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