Obsidian Systems is celebrating its 24th anniversary this year, heralding a remarkable journey in the market that is reflective of how open source has permeated virtually every facet of business today.

“When we started the company, our focus was not on being the biggest. Instead, we wanted to create a happy environment with happy employees working in a happy culture. Fast forward to the present and I can quite honestly say this is what we accomplished,” says Muggie van Staden, MD of Obsidian Systems.

For van Staden, this enabling environment where people have purpose and are given the opportunity to solve problems in innovative ways lie at the heart of the success of the business.

“In the beginning, people would think we were crazy to focus on open source. At the time, most vendors pushed out proprietary solutions. I would go to many client presentations and be laughed at for proposing that the future of IT revolved around open standards. How times have changed,” he says.

Part of this shift can be attributed to the increasing importance of data.

“The data-driven world requires a different way of approaching technology. Open standards provide organisations with the flexibility required to take solutions and customise them according to their specific requirements. Thanks to real-time data analysis, companies can innovate faster and change their strategies to give their customers what they want. And the recipe behind this is having an open platform to do so.”

The Internet of Things, cognitive computing, cloud computing, and the mobile world are continually pushing this open way of doing things, whether for business or in a personal capacity.

“Our children are growing up in a time where technology is taken for granted. I cannot predict what will happen in the next five years, never mind the next 24. Suffice it to say, I think the rate of technology-driven innovation using open systems will exponentially accelerate. We are rapidly approaching a time where the likes of virtual and augmented reality will become a seamless experience and part of our lives. Fundamentally, this open world is one that provides us with a blank canvass to do whatever we want.”