Open source is a model of software development that has been growing since the 1970's. It is a very effective model at producing high quality software. As the number of open source projects grew, along with the scope of what could be done with it, it attracted the attention of IT organizations, systems integrators, software vendors and other commercial consumers. These organizations identified a number of barriers that make it hard, and in many cases impossible, for them to adopt open source. The primary barriers are:

These barriers are real and rational. Notice that all of the barriers listed above except 'Functional Gaps' are risk-related.

There are entire industries whose sole purpose it to provide risk management. When you look at the offerings of POSS companies you will see that many (and sometimes all) of them are there to help the consumer manage the risks of deploying open source software.

Professional open source companies usually offer some or all of these:

Next - The Principles of Open Source