Is Open Source right for your Digital Transformation? Series Part 1: SWOT Analysis

In this six part blog series, we will examine open source in the context of digital transformation, along with practical advice on how to adopt it in your organisation - or whether you should. In this first blog post in the series, we'll take a SWOT approach to open source, along with a brief review of some of the opportunities. Finally, we will look at barriers to adoption, if the organisation decides that open source is right.

What's your approach to open source - do you see it as a threat or an opportunity? Seeing the trends in the industry, Microsoft are putting their best foot forward with open source, and you can find more of Microsoft's open source news here. Since Microsoft is so popular with organisations large and small, Microsoft's approach to open source is, in turn, driving organisations to look at Open Source with new eyes.

How does it impact your organisation? Open source has a number of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and these will vary from organisation to organisation.


The Numbers Game - Price, Licensing

Collaborative development

Vendor Independence

Market-oriented development


Support Concerns

Skills Availability

Roll-your-own maintainability concerns

Training Costs

Integration Complexities


Low barrier to entry

Thriving Community Ecosystem

Potential to sell service and skills to other organisations

Innovative and effective technology solutions

Effective Digital Transformation for all


Regulations and Governance

Integration with Commercial Vendors

Integration with other OSS

Shiny Gadget Syndrome with management succession

Predictability Planning




As part of a overall business strategy, many organisations start to look at using open source. When I'm making recommendations for a Digital Transformation, I do include open source as part of this review. If you are interested in learning more, contact me or email

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Transitioning Skills to the Cloud: gently, gently, incrementally!

Digital Transformation is all about people, and making lives better through the application and utilisation of technology. Today, I attended a seminar held by Mark Russinovich at the IPExpo event in Europe. Note that all of the slides are taken from his presentation.

It is arguable that digital transformation incorporates one of the most difficult challenges of all: change. The truth is, our world yields so painfully to change.  As we can see from the slide above, traditional IT and transformed IT are opposites from each other. 

How do we move forward? Gently, gently, incrementally is the adage here.

2 Changing IT Skillset

From this image here, we can see reimagined job roles with strategic skills for a new era of computing. There are three main skills which were key:

Virtual Networking - learn how to use ExpressRoute, for example, to provide a clear route of data transfer, which does not touch the public internet. A lot of data is born in the cloud anyway; why are you bringing it down to on-premise, just to shoot it back up again into the Internet? Why not simply just secure it there?

Data Science - data is better with a purpose, and put into context alongside other information

Dev Ops - The cloud is built for self-healing and you want to bake this into your infrastructure, your database failover configuration and your applications. In the world of Transformed IT, this requires a new way of thinking

When we start to bring everything together, what might it look like? The Cloud Migration Strategy is a mix of many elements: Old IT, new IT, implementation and design with a focus on placing workloads to make the most of cloud and ensuring that the organisation runs successfully. Here is an example, taken from the Microsoft slide and the full credit is given to the Azure team:

3 Cloud Migration Strategy

To summarise, the skills need to be aligned in order to maximise the success of the end goal, and it should be a key part of the strategy.