Monthly Archives: December 2009

The crisis and FLOSS

No sh.t Sherlock as we used to say in brooklynese. The financials of IT companies in Greece are showing a steep decline in income and profitability.

This is no surprise to me since most IT shops in Greece are no more than box movers. They offer none or very little added value in the form of services or development. When the times are good and the cronies are in governmental positions,then even a low margin sale can make someone’s fortune. But when the times get choppy like the Ioanian sea in a gale, then very few boxes are pushed around and  the lack of depth of the market becomes apparent. What is surprising is that extremely few executives saw this trend coming. Even fewer tried to switch their operations to a service mentality, and even less are trying to push solutions based on open source only to meet hostility from  a market largely in denial.

I can only hope that some change comes to this land but it seems that once more the newly elected government will play the tune by which all shops will dance.  The government is pushing for the adoption of open and FLOSS solutions in the public sector. Whereas I fully support this strategy being a FLOSS aficionado myself, I am greatly distressed by the enormity of negative response by the IT sector.  IT is disheartening to say the least.

Now the telcos face a crunch not because of the crisis only  but also of maturation and saturation of the market. At 120% saturation of mobile phones in the population at large, telcos cannot hope to gain any more clients. Their only path is to either create more services thereby increasing the A.R.P.U. or by reducing costs. Both these paths lead invariably to the adoptions of FLOSS.

Let’s see how the mobile story develops, I have little hope for the VARs.