According to one survey, 78% of companies rely partly on open source software. This is surprising considering the expertise required to maintain open source software and the need for an operation support system as you scale.
Open source software is typically free and relies on a meritocracy, where the best solutions for a bug or upgrade are voted by users in the community. Being open and free, it’s essentially what the internet was built for in the first place.
While open source software has many flaws, there are still many advantages it presents over proprietary solutions. Let’s explore.
One of the key benefits of open source software is the ability to immediately add value to your organization. You don’t have to wait for a vendor to create new features. You can simply modify your source code to suit your own purposes and get your IT operations up and going.
Since open source software is continuously evolving, it means that security, upgrades, and basic features will also constantly be added to builds and free to the public.
Mainly though, open source enables businesses to be more nimble and dynamic in their IT operations, responding to changing business priorities and the competition.
You need a software solution that will scale with your organization. With open source software, you can start small and download basic code to get your IT operations going. From there, you have full reign to reprogram code to add the necessary features you want without shopping around to different vendors or being pigeonholed by your current vendor’s restrictions.
Is there any bigger incentive for open source other than the fact that it’s free to the public. Sure, you have to pay your IT staff to work with open source to create and maintain the features they desire out of a build, but it’s better than paying for the unnecessary features and surcharges your vendor charges.
Beyond this, high profile IT talent are drawn to open source projects because they allow for more technical freedom and give them the chance to showcase their expertise. In the end, you could end up paying far less for a superior build than a proprietary solution.
The ability to fully customize a software build to your purposes is not only cost-effective, but much more efficient than leveraging a proprietary suite. You can code the features you want out of the build, regardless if they are offered by a vendor or not.
Best of all, open source software frees you from vendor lock-in and the excessive fees you’ll need to pay for each upgrade and fix they conduct on their build. With continuous availability, you are also protected if the vendor ever goes out of business or stops updating their products.
Open source software offers many advantages over proprietary builds, but its utility ultimately depends on your IT department’s expertise and budget. Proprietary software offers advantages of its own, mostly in terms of security. Conduct your research and weigh the pros and cons of each before investing your resources to either or.