Jonathan Feldman knows that early adopters of open source hardware are bound to gain benefits that non-adopters can never know, such as saved cost and customized solutions. While still on the outskirts now, Feldman believes open source hardware is going to make it big soon. He sees a few opportunities for IT to capitalize on the new mode of business:
IT exists to provide technology services to advance business goals. If your business creates kiosks, vending machines, vehicles, or other types of consumer hardware, my money is on IT contributing massively to cutting costs and increasing speed of deployment.
Maybe that means IT organizations becoming aware of open source designs and assisting product engineering and manufacturing with integration into real-time business systems. Maybe it means working with a subcontractor. Open source hardware won't be good for everything, but it will be fantastic for certain things.
As hardware platforms become more closed and CIOs need to spend more and more money creating ad-hoc additions to get different hardware to communicate, the idea of open source will become more and more appealing. But Feldman is quick to point out: only forward thinking CIOs are going to make it work well.