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Catalyst & Open Source
Why Open Source?

Source code defines how a software application works. Open source means you can study the source code, so you can fully understand what an application is doing.

Open source puts Catalyst’s technicians in complete control of every aspect of the applications we recommend to our clients. It also means you won’t be locked into a relationship with a single supplier simply because they keep hold of the recipe for their ‘secret sauce’.

Open source lowers the barriers for your organisation to invest in a wide range of business applications. Pilot projects can easily be established to test the full capabilities of the software, before you make any significant long-term investment. And in several product categories, such as web content management, the leading offerings today are already all open source.

Open source also removes many barriers to change within your organisation. Where proprietary software licences go out of their way to restrict what you can do with the software you pay for, free and open source software licences are permissive and enabling. 

For reasons like this, organisations are increasingly choosing open source solutions to complement or replace established systems. 

Is my organisation ready for open source?

Not so long ago people were asking whether open source software was really ready for use in business-critical applications.

Today the question is rather: is your organisation ready for open source?

Most organisations start using open source simply because the price is so attractive and because there is a best of breed open source application that meets their needs. 

Over time the benefits of being able to freely modify any aspect of the software may become more important as your organisation's needs change.

Organisations that recognise the strategic value in an open source project may ask Catalyst to manage contributions back to the project to improve on what is already there, and to better manage customisations by folding them back into the core project. 

Catalyst's commitment to open source

Catalyst IT has a long-held commitment to open standards and open source technologies. This commitment is demonstrated in the following ways:

  • our staff are regular contributors to a wide array of open source projects
  • we are heavily involved with projects like Moodle, Mahara and Koha
  • we have in-depth expertise in many core open source components
  • we understand how to work with the development communities behind the open source products we use
  • we work collaboratively and openly with each other, our clients and our partners
  • we support local, national and international open source initiatives such as the New Zealand Open Source Awards.

After more than a decade in business as an open source services company, Catalyst now has the largest concentration of open source expertise in New Zealand. This means we can help your organisation get the very best out of your investment in open source, and help manage your long-term interest in the products you use.

In fact it is Catalyst's mission to "make open source the preferred technology in New Zealand".