Case Study: Backcountry.com Bets the Shop on Open Source

By Baselinemag  |  Posted 2006-05-08 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Backcountry.com is a small player in the outdoor sporting goods market. But thanks in part to an unconventional approach to IT, it's experiencing eye-popping growth, nearly doubling its revenues in 2005.

Backcountry.com is a small player in the outdoor sporting goods market. But thanks in part to an unconventional approach to IT, it's experiencing eye-popping growth, nearly doubling its revenues in 2005. How? By using a variety of open source software, including Linux and MySQL. At Backcountry.com, nearly every system runs on open source, from its supply chain to knowledge management.

It's a compelling strategy, but not without risks. To realize the promise of open source, share source code freely and improve or customize software as needed at a fraction of the cost of proprietary software, Backcountry had to hire a massive IT staff that's responsible for writing all its own code. That's not something every small company can—or should—undertake.

Story Guide:

  • Part 1: Great Wide Open
  • Part 2: Open Source on the Cheap
  • Part 3: How Open Source Aids Innovation
  • Part 4: Using Tech for Fast Growth

    Sidebars

  • Thinking Out Loud: David Jenkins, Backcountry.com CIO
  • Comparing the Costs of Open Source

    Related Articles:

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  • Research: Open Source Turns Strategic
  • Expert Voice: Steven Weber on the Future of Open Source
  • Mega Trend: Linux Joins the Software Establishment
  • Chinese Companies Plan Massive Linux Deployments
  • Calculators: Knowing When to Embrace Open Source



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