Benefits of open source software for business

There are a number of reasons open source software works but one of the main reasons is the community of people. As an example, Drupal has more than 100,000 people around the world actively  contributing to the software. To compare, Microsoft has approximately 114,000 employees. But what does open source really mean? 

Open source software is crowd-sourced. It is code written and maintained by volunteers and community members. It is available and open to anyone who would like to copy, use, edit and contribute for any purpose. As a result, open source software has its benefits — cost, flexibility, freedom, security, and community. Open source software has seen massive growth and acceptance in the business world, and for good reason. Here are five benefits for adopting open source software in business:

Security

Not much can slip by when thousands of eyeballs are sifting through it every day. Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, first coined this idea and it has been named “Linus’ Law”. Linus said, “Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow”, meaning that the more people looking at and testing a piece of code, the more likely that a problem will be noticed, fixed, and fixed quickly.

In the world of closed sourced proprietary software, no one outside of the office has a clue what bugs are present. Once a bug is discovered, it can often take weeks or months for companies to release a patch for their product. Expensive proprietary software tends to take the “security through obscurity” argument.

While open source software may have more “discovered bugs” than closed sourced alternatives, those bugs are usually discovered before they can cause serious harm and quickly fixed. The proprietary software runs the risk of a new bug discovery after a major release and can take much longer for a fix to be applied. Good luck to all the businesses running it in the meantime.

Flexibility

When you buy into proprietary software you are “locked in” to whatever solution that software has to offer. Open source software is flexible. You can take it, use it and change it to meet your specific needs. No need to throw more money at the problem or suffer from software that doesn’t meet your needs. Drupal is a great example, having been adopted widely across the public sector, including cities, towns, universities, and The White House. 

The businesses that make proprietary software want to keep you locked in too. Microsoft’s Windows and Office are prime examples. They are intentionally limited to work within the Microsoft ecosystem and designed to limit integration with 3rd party applications.

With open source your business is free from the software vendor’s vision, requirements, dictates, prices, priorities, timetables, and what you do with the software you are paying for.

Community

Open source software is built by a community of knowledgeable and passionate teams and individuals. They care about the importance of freedom and want their software to be usable and approachable. You’ll find documentation, email lists, forums, wikis, newsgroups, or even live chats for every popular open source project.

The community behind open source is unmatched in numbers, passion, knowledge and initiative.

Quality

Open source software is more likely to provide what the end user needs because the people making it often ends users themselves. With open source, it’s not a matter of what the vendors think that their customers want. Users and developers contribute to the software they care about and they make it something that they would want to use—and they do it well. In fact, many businesses choose open source solutions for its technical superiority.

Cost

It’s free. Well, most of it is free.

This reason alone should be enough for businesses to adopt open source software. You get all the benefits at zero cost. Proprietary software (especially business facing) can cost a fortune up front or can bleed you out over a yearly subscription. All those charges build up and are probably sucking more from your business than you probably realize. Take the leap. Cut the cord. Open source software welcomes you.

IMPORTANCE OF ENTERPRISE OPEN SOURCE

Open source is a type of licensing agreement that allowsprogrammers and engineers to develop new technologies through collaboration. It’s code is written and maintained by volunteers and community members and is available and open to anyone who would like to copy, use, edit and contribute for ways to improve it. This is why open source software has benefits such as cost, flexibility, freedom, security, and community.

 

Open source software is facing massive growth and acceptance in worldwide business. Microsoft is today one of the largest open source providers in the world, with IBM and SAP also entering the top ten. According to Red Hat’s “State of Enterprise Open Source” study published in April 2019, 69% of IT executives believe that open source software is at least “pretty important” to their IT strategy.

 

Here are few benefits for adopting open source software in business:

 

  • Innovation:

    Innovation is the reason behind the growth of the business, startups, entrepreneurship, and anything that we do creatively in business.Competitive business minds always think to execute unique idea in their business model, business processesin order to satisfy and acquire more and more customers.
    Open source programming empowers innovation by providingusers with the opportunity also adaptability to adjust the product to bring the best functionalities out of it. Experimenting with open source is easier than with commercial products, therefore innovation could conceivably be passed on to all clients or users of the software. Developers can download and try out free open source programs, and then decide if the technology is right for their project. If not, they can decide differently and quickly experiment with other components. It is important to note that open source is a pioneer for innovation.

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  • Cost and Availability: 

    The most obvious benefit of open source software is that it’s totally free. As the software is often free or fairly inexpensive, companies can save on operational and implementation cost. Plus, ifopen source software vendors are charging for add-ons,these products are usually still much cheaper than closed source alternatives. Open Source Software is freely available over the net. They are available with 24*7 support from online community, discussion forums as well and they depend on its online group system to convey help by means of discussions forums and blogs. While there are huge and dedicated online groups that clients can turn to, busy customers of today have prompt administration and help that empowers issues to be solve quickly.

 

  • Security:

    Open source software is not necessarily developed in a secured environment. While big companies, such as Microsoft, often have a concentrated development team, often the software is being developed by individuals all over the world who may not work on the software for the duration of its developing lifetime. This lack of continuity and common direction can lead to security barriers and to the lack of communication. But as open source code is visible for anyone to see, Vulnerabilities are also visible to everyonemeans they can be fixed quite easily. It is important to evaluate the ability of an open source community and or its service providers to respond quickly to find vulnerabilities. Traditionally, open source platforms provide clearer documentation, more frequent upgrades, and regular downloads for testing purposes. All of this can help give corporate teams a strong sense of security in developing their technology stacks. Overall, the software receives more attention, which means more testing and ameliorating security.

 

  • Flexibility:

    Companies that use Open Source Software (OSS) find that it offers the most flexibility of any third-party software alternative.As they continually look to do more with less, adopting open source software can deliver real business value in addition to greater flexibility, lower IT costs and increased opportunities for innovation. Open Source software increase flexibility at a faster pace and lower cost.

 

  • High quality software:

    The input of worldwide best developers who are motivated and determined to develop the best possible software always results in delivering a high-quality product. By exploiting reusable components, the developers gain more freedom to concentrate on higher value contributions.

 

The increasing customizability and security offered by OSS, in combination with its low cost, is driving the growing adoption by businesses. Lots of organizations as well as service providers such as IBM, Hewlett Packard are already doing business with all the open source software. In addition to that, the advances in OSS will provide new capabilities for SME in terms of their operations and the products and services they provide to clients. It is expected that businesses will increasingly turn to OSS solutions in order to meet their business needs and remain competitive in the market.

Written by Jane