My company has a very broad range of products and there are a few that are not strategic to us so I wanted to open source them (so we can focus on what makes us unique and open source the products that every firm has).
Our industry(hedgefund) does not open source(we would be the first firm to try this) and the feedback I'm getting from my management team is either 1) we'll destroy the industry or 2) all competitive commercial firms will unite against us and we'll be wiped out either way. It's a big battle in my firm right now between the IT people who have seen the positive effects of sharing and the business people who think we'll be giving up everything (they prefer we sell parts we want to opensource, but in their defense this is standard when divesting something).
So what are your thoughts? Does open sourcing apply generally or is it only really applicable to software? Is it overall good for people in the industry and outside? I'm actually more interested in the negativeness effects(although positive are welcomed as well)
Update: Long story short, although code is involved this is not so much about code as it is more about the idea of open sourcing.
We are a mid sized quant hedge fund. We have some unique strategies but also have the standard long/short, arbitrage, global macro, etc.. funds.
We are keeping the unique funds we have but the other stuff that everyone else has we are considering open sourcing (We have put in years of work & millions of dollars into. Our funds is pretty popular and our performance is either in first or second quartile so I suspect there will be interest from firms in or thinking of getting into the industry but I don't know to what extent).
The goal is not to get a community to work for us, the goal is to let anyone who wants to tinker with it do so and create anything they want (it will not be part of our product line although I may unofficially allocate some our of staff's time to assist any community that grows). Although the code base is quite large, the value in this is the industry knowledge and approaches we have acquired (there are many books on artificial intelligence and quant trading but they are often years behind what's really going on as most firms forbid their staff from discussing what they are doing). Long story short, there maybe value here for people or not but I'm approaching open sourcing as a way to benefit the general public while we divest a product line up. But the flip side, is this is a core product to many other firms and they won't be happy(I think about linux/windows, wikipedia/britannica, google maps/commercial map firms, and so on). I'm fine with people disliking me but I'd rather it not be for unindented consequences and this question is to try to understand what those consequences generally are on industries that get core areas open sourced. For example, its hard to judge what part of the OS market grew because of Linux or was naturally growing on its own and so on. Technology has such fast grow and I'm struggling to understand how open sourced impacted it(and if it was positive or not. I.e. one of our large competitors has very large grants to top universities which obviously helps the schools, would open source limit the need for things like that?).
I understand this can seem very specific to me but I'm trying to understand general impact of open sourcing and software seemed like a good place to learn.