Klaus Zimmermann's Corner

Status on 2021/01/05, 07:17

"Why do people keep using slack at work? There are so many better alternatives that are free and federating out there."

"I wish we could use Linux in our office. That way, our computers would be so much more efficient and IT incidents would be cut down."

"I hate Office365, the company should've self-hosted Nextcloud so we could collaborate efficiently and with freedom."

All of these are valid arguments, and frankly I've thought of them myself for quite the longest time of my professional career. However, this Linux user-centric view shadows away a very important and often overlooked thing for an IT department: availability of support.

Say what you want, support for Microsoft stuff comes almost built-in for enterprise, and with centralized services, you can always put the blame on them instead of your internal IT organization. If I want to get help setting up my Nextcloud service in my NAS, though, I better hope there are enough motivated people in IRC to help me out.

Am I praising centralized services? Absolutely not. But this area of professional support provision is definitely something that Free Software needs to improve on if it must tackle the enterprise beast. Canonical, Red Hat, etc all noticed this already. Who's missing next?

Here's a good, but brief writeup on why so many IT organizations shy away from Free Software alternatives.