There is a growing body of evidence that strategic use of Open source software (OSS) solutions in the Enterprise can dramatically reduce licensing/maintenance costs while reducing vendor lock-in. Many of best known OSS projects even have commercial support offerings, and a wealth of commercial documentation.
That said, the vast majority of open source projects are often still in infancy, or not yet well supported. Sourceforge alone has over 50,000 projects, but perhaps only a few hundred that are well supported. Chose wisely, and be more selective of those projects as the criticality or longevity of the solution increases.
- Opensource.org provides a wealth of information on the Open Source initiative.
- Computerworld article on Open Source resources to assist Enterprise OSS adoption.
- Ohloh.net popularity and statistics on Open Source software projects