Reprogramming Asian Business with Open Source

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Excerpt

Asian manufacturing groups in Taiwan, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, India and Korea are the engine behind American brands. The older, hierarchical business cultures inside these large manufacturers can be changed through open source, collaborative software and thinking. The motivation for them? Cost savings and stability.

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Asian manufacturing groups in Taiwan, China, Vietnam and Korea are the engine behind American brands. The older, hierarchical business cultures inside these large manufacturers can be changed through open source, collaborative software and thinking. The motivation for them? Cost savings and stability.

We are seeing that the time is right for these companies to rethink their approach to IT. Seeing IT as the agent and catalyst to rebuild the way that the company can operate as a whole. Open Source technologies and attitudes have an opportunity to reshape several key aspects. Open Source thinking brings a do-it-yourself attitude to areas of IT where large proprietary systems have traditionally been used, the follow aspects are discussed in this talk:

The cost of business IT systems: Increasing labor costs are forcing Asian companies invest in infrastructure and systems, rather than throwing manpower at problems. However, systems from Oracle, Microsoft and SAP are simply too expensive to purchase and maintain. Linux on the desktop: Asian companies are having a much easier time than Western to jump straight from decrepit Windows desktops to simple, low-cost Linux-based desktops. Particularly as more work moves from traditional office applications to web-based systems. Users are far less cynical and picky than in the west. Utility is the key. Collaboration systems: With safer Linux-based desktops, Asian companies are feeling more free to explore Internet-based collaboration tools as well as a wide array of self hosted tools: Wiki systems for content & knowledge management and collaboration, IM and VoIP. Larger scale cultural and management issues (such as “face”, direct conflict avoidance, and strict hierarchical organizations) are challenged and shifted by this new technological approach. Industrial Control and Monitoring: Transparency and environmental compliance are largely unsolved problems in Asia. Open source sensors and monitoring systems are proving to be cost effective ways of ensuring environmental compliance.

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