Technology should be carefully selected to actively grow business over the long term, so it requires careful consideration and foresight. Open source has been gaining popularity or a long time due to the benefits it comes with. Those who don’t know the difference between the two, open-source software’s source code is available to everyone. Anyone can modify its code while proprietary software is owned by enterprises or individuals and its source code can only be modified by its owners. Enterprises that use open-source software enjoy many advantages over those using proprietary software. These are enumerated below.
Open-source software can do more than proprietary software, its code can be changed, enterprises can add additional functionalities whenever needed. Wherein for a proprietary software their adaptability is very rigid and additional functionalities can only be added after negotiating terms and paying fees to its proprietors. This adds up to the cost as well as the timeline of a project. An enterprise that uses open-source software doesn’t come across such roadblocks. Instead of negotiating with vendors, it can change the source code of the software itself to add additional functionalities. This makes organizations that use such software more flexible than organizations that use proprietary software.
An advantage of open-source software is how quickly it can be up and running. Enterprises can in a matter of days use versions of the software created by online communities and start getting work done. While experimenting with versions created by online communities’ enterprises can discover which one solves their business problems. Once an enterprise discovers the software that meets all its requirements it can adopt it. After adopting it, an enterprise can take advantage of the professional support and services that accompany it. Open-source software gives enterprises all the advantages of proprietary software with none of its drawbacks. The right open-source software can be quickly selected and up and running. It is inexpensive and grows alongside enterprises. As an enterprise matures, its open-source software matures with it becoming eventually a fully-supported, large scale, enterprise-grade software. As enterprises grow additional functionalities can easily be added to such software. Enterprises that use it don’t face the licensing hurdles presented by proprietary software.
Compared to proprietary software, open-source software is inexpensive. In an enterprise environment, it is more affordable than proprietary software of similar capabilities. Furthermore, in enterprise environments, the capabilities of open-source software often exceed those of proprietary software. Using such software also makes sense for enterprises because as they scale the software scales with them. Because fledgling enterprises have modest budgets such software is ideal for them.
Scale Up, or Not
Community versions of open-source software are free. This makes them ideal for small enterprises with modest budgets. An enterprise can easily adopt many versions of open-source software and select those that help meet its business objectives. When requirements change the decision to migrate to a commercially supported version can be made. Should it be discovered that a community version of software meets all of an enterprise’s needs, there may be no need to migrate to a commercially supported version. Hence an enterprise may decide whether to scale up by migrating to a commercially supported version of open-source software.
Security in an Unsafe World
Data security is a pressing concern. Theft of customers’ data tarnishes, sometimes irrecoverably, the reputation of companies. Keeping data secure demands using software that is nearly impervious to attack. Open-source software is such software. It has a solid record of keeping data secure at a time when data breaches are widespread. There are reasons open-source software is exceptionally secure. The community supporting open source software has the technical expertise to keep it that way. The responsiveness of the open-source community makes such software secure. The community responds quickly when threats emerge and usually well before they do. They can do so because they are thoroughly familiar with the software code; many have been working on certain software code for decades. This makes it possible to fix problems should they arise and often beforehand. The proprietary software’s code is known only to a few. This lets some easily exploit the software. In the case of open-source software, this is unlikely.
These are a few advantages of using open-source software in place of proprietary software. There are many others. Enterprises that use proprietary software have the advantage of using a product that meets all their requirements. Such software grows alongside the enterprise and is supported by a vibrant community. With the support of a community, open-source software easily grows into enterprise-grade software that meets all of an enterprise’s needs. Support from its community makes it impervious to attack.
With the worldwide community supporting the code base its reliability is increased rather than looking at one team – one company. The code is developed on online forums and guided by experts. The output tends to be extremely robust, tried, and tested code. In fact, the open-source code now powers about 90% of the internet and is being rapidly adopted across major enterprises for this reason.
Freedom from lock-in
The speed to market is considerably faster as there is no vendor lock-in or technology. Proprietary software for core infrastructure increases the risk of becoming locked in by the vendor or technology. If this happens, enterprises can be at the mercy of vendors’ price increases and experience a lack of flexibility they can’t easily and readily escape. Enterprises should be careful to use true open source solutions, rather than those from providers that repackage open-source software to include proprietary hooks.