Stphane Rousseau (DSI, Eiffage): Open source is an opportunity for companies

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On the occasion of the Open CIO Summit Paris on November 9, 2021, our CIO colleague interviewed his new sponsor, Stphane Rousseau, DSI of the Eiffage group and vice-president of Cigref.

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Why did you agree to be the sponsor of the 2021 edition of the Open CIO Summit, on November 9?

Stephane Rousseau. I continue to be convinced that open-source is an opportunity for companies. This is clearly a subject that deserves attention. In 2019, during the last edition before the health crisis, the theme was the risks around open-source. The main risks are, on the one hand, the takeover of distributions by major publishers (Red Hat / IBM, Java / Oracle, GitHub / Microsoft, etc.) and, on the other hand, the domination among the contributors of major players ( Google in particular). On the one hand, it’s good because open-source benefits from a striking force. On the other hand, reliance on big players is clearly a danger. One cannot be indifferent to the subject.

Today, what is the main theme to defend for open source?

Even if there are a few products here or there, the question is how to go up in the application layers when open-source is obviously very present in the infrastructure. More specifically, the topic of the moment is collaboration in the broad sense (messaging, intranet, collaborative co-publishing, videoconferencing, etc.).
Companies are reluctant to adopt such solutions. However, the offers are objectively interesting but they are not yet installed on the market. A few years ago, we complained about the unremovable Microsoft/Google duopoly. Then Slack found its place to the point of being acquired by Salesforce. There is therefore a real space for the emergence of new solutions.

Universities and local authorities are increasingly adopting solutions such as OnlyOffice, BlueMind, Nextcloud… What about large companies?

Several problems arise in large companies with a much larger dimension than in smaller structures. First of all, there is an aspect of general culture: everyone knows (or thinks they know) how to use Microsoft Office and does not want to make the effort of another apprenticeship, which would be very heavy to manage in terms of training. . There is also what could be called interoperability with the ecosystem. The bigger a company, the more we need to use the same tools as the vast majority of partners: we send Outlook invitations, we communicate with Teams, we exchange Excel files… In smaller structures, it is simpler and less cumbersome to migrate, train, etc.

This year, the Open CIO Summit will focus on open-source as an enabler of cloud migration. What does that mean ?

Docker, Kubernetes, OpenShift… All these products are open-source. All the software at the heart of the cloud and its orchestration are open-source. Open-source is therefore clearly a facilitator and a lever for the cloud shift.

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