Over the years we have been hearing about the demise of IP as open source takes ground and entrenches itself deeper into the global business psyche. For people like me it’s more of a rudimentary myth that shall duly die down as businesses line up to reach out more vigorously to its customers.
The prophesying minds of open source claim of the underlying freedom, technology sharing and greater empowerment to users and customers alike as the mainstays of this thrust which overcomes the detraction of minimalist focus on innovation. This alone has led soothsayers to predict the beginning of the end of the IP focus.
I personally believe intellectual property was, is and will continue to be a critical force in driving enterprises to innovate. Yes, I duly agree that moving towards open source means hefty budgetary savings for the end customers who don’t have to pay huge amounts of money for software that doesn’t have highly differentiated intellectual property (IP). But as the market moves towards a high level customer focus where technology becomes the only differentiator, there has been, and will always be, a huge market for innovations. This can only be achieved with focus and investment in creating an innovation that provides intellectual property to the enterprise to deliver superior value to customers as well as investors. Ideally open source offering can complement IP creation where developers focus on pain points of customers thereby optimizing service delivery that suits best for a business plan or strategy.
In order to improve customer satisfaction and service experiences which significantly haven’t changed for years due to lack of innovation in doing things differently, an innovation focus can work wonders. Some great technology IP can sincerely help to “break open” this market, and dramatically improve both customer satisfaction, as well as business opportunities for service providers. The opportunities are abundant to create IP that provides business continuity.
Open Source advantages of low acquisition cost and high reliability are dwarfed by the IP benefits of offering high technical support and software product maintenance along with low risk in adopting the solution. Yes, there are disadvantages too with IP like high acquisition cost and low reliability but the same goes with open source too which provides low technical support and software product maintenance and high risk value in adopting the solution.
Overtime we have seen that open source has been forcing entrepreneurs and investors to think in new ways about a new set of problems. Also, the great move towards being open has taken many by surprise. Having said so, I seek to conclude with a belief that open source will surely and aptly help drive a focus on improved solutions for customers–particularly in nascent markets but a creation of unique intellectual property will surely play a critical role in fueling this new push for innovation.