Case Study: Bets the Shop on Open Source 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, 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


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

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  • CIO Insight Staff
    CIO Insight Staff
    CIO Insight offers thought leadership and best practices in the IT security and management industry while providing expert recommendations on software solutions for IT leaders. It is the trusted resource for security professionals who need network monitoring technology and solutions to maintain regulatory compliance for their teams and organizations.

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