Research Library
Beware of Geeks Bearing Gifts: Strategies for an Increasingly Open Economy – report

The success of open source software has far exceeded initial expectations and we have long speculated that the ‘open’ meme would eventually spread to non-IT sectors.  

In addition to many open software projects, we have recently seen a growing emphasis in universities on open science and open curricula; increasing government commitments to open data; and perhaps most intriguingly, impressive demonstrations of the power of open source manufacturing designs when combined with 3D printing.  There is now open activity at virtually every level of business and IT. 

This report describes our findings and the lessons learned, and provides recommendations for using various open technology approaches.  Over the coming year we will continue to assess the potential for more open and transparent strategies, and how firms balance these pressures with their traditional needs for security and confidentiality.  It’s one of the more intriguing strategic challenges of our increasingly open and internet-based world, and one where Enterprise IT can play an important leadership role.

Watch a clip of Simon discussing this research including some of the findings that characterize open market competition and strategy.

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AUTHORS

David Moschella
Research Fellow
David Moschella, based in the United States, is a Research Fellow for Leading Edge Forum.  David's focus is on industry disruptions, machine intelligence and related business model strategies.  He is the project lead for our 2017 research into Disrupting ‘The Professions’ – Scenarios for Human and Machine Expertise. David was previously Research Director of the programme. David’s key areas of expertise include globalization, industry restructuring, disruptive technologies, and the co-evolution of business and IT.  David is the author of multiple research reports, including 2016 Study Tour Report: Applying Machine Intelligence, There is Now a Formula for Machine Intelligence Innovation,  Embracing 'the Matrix' and the Machine Intelligence Era and The Myths and Realities of Digital Disruption. An author and columnist, David’s second book, Customer-Driven IT, How Users Are Shaping Technology Industry Growth, was published in 2003 by Harvard Business School Press.  The book predicted the shift from a supplier-driven to today’s customer-led IT environment.  His 1997 book, Waves of Power, assessed global competition within the IT supplier community.  He has written some 200 columns for Computerworld, the IT Industry’s leading publication on Enterprise IT, and has presented at countless industry events all around the world. David previously spent 15 years with International Data Corporation, where he was IDC’s main spokesperson on global IT industry trends and was responsible for its worldwide technology, industry and market forecasts.    
Simon Wardley
Researcher
Simon Wardley, based in the UK, is a Researcher for Leading Edge Forum and the lead practitioner for Wardley Maps advisory service helping clients anticipate market and ecosystem developments. Simon’s focus is on the intersection of IT strategy and new technologies, and he is the author of multiple reports including Clash of the Titans – Will China Dethrone Silicon Valley?  where he assesses the hi-tech challenge from China and what this means to the future of global technology industry competition. His previous research covers topics including Of Wonders and Disruption,  The Future is More Predictable Than You Think - A Workbook for Value Chain Mapping, Beware of Geeks Bearing Gifts: Strategies for an Increasingly Open Economy, Learning from Web 2.0 and A Lifecycle Approach to Cloud Computing. Simon is a seasoned executive who has spent the last 15 years defining future IT strategies for companies in the FMCG, Retail and IT industries.  From Canon’s early leadership in the cloud computing space in 2005 to Ubuntu’s recent dominance as the #1 Cloud operating system. As a geneticist with a love of mathematics and a fascination in economics, Simon has always found himself dealing with complex systems, whether it’s in behavioural patterns, environmental risks of chemical pollution, developing novel computer systems or managing companies.  He is a passionate advocate and researcher in the fields of open source, commoditization, innovation, organizational structure and cybernetics. Simon is a regular presenter at conferences worldwide, and has been voted as one of the UK's top 50 most influential people in IT in Computer Weekly's 2012 and 2011 polls.    

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