The enterprise open source desktop – introduction

In enterprise, Linux desktop, open source on November 1, 2010 by oli4444

Many open source developers have never worked with large enterprise / corporate desktops. There are some important differences between a typical home or small business desktop and a enterprise / corporate desktop. Although there is noting wrong with that (you probably don’t like those desktops anyway), it might be good to know the differences, and use this knowledge when designing new software – and make it suitable for both the home and small business user and the large corporations. I’m not telling that open source is not good for them – I know there are workarounds for every item I’m going to mention – I’m only telling some things could be better!

Large enterprise corporations spend millions of dollars on desktops and have large IT operations, so they are a prime candidate for cost reduction using open source software. Enterprise corporations often see their desktop just as costs (and no benefits). The benefits are in the applications, being SAP, IBM Filenet, and the in-house developed application that has been there for 10 years already. If the open source desktop can present those most important applications this is a cost reduction without effect on the benefits – then we have a business case.

Anyway, I’ll try to do a series of posting about the most important characteristics of the enterprise desktop. Some points I will be talking about:

  • scale – many users, many groups, many systems, many administrators, many departments and sub-departments
  • security, authentication, authorization, lockdown
  • consistency
  • networking, latency, bandwidth
  • support (costs), self-service

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