Posted by Paul Anderson
What makes Open Source Software best for any business?
Open source software has become an indispensable part of the business world. Almost every government, public and private organization is using open source software in its inventory, accounting, contact management systems and so on.
So what has driven so many businesses towards open source software? According to experts, there are many advantages that attract businesses towards open source development. Let’s check out:
As Katherine Noyes asks – ”Which is more likely to be better: a software package created by a handful of developers, or a software package created by thousands of developers?”
Obviously, maximum hands will come up for the second option – a software package created by thousands of developers. So there you have the first BIG advantage!
Open Source Software is constantly getting integrated with new features and enhancements by countless developers and users all across the world. So when a business chooses open source software, it gets a premium-quality product at hand – tried, tested and improved by many. Isn’t that great?
In fact that is the reason why, one recent study has shown that premium quality is typically the ‘primary reason’ businesses choose open source software.
2. No vendor lock-in
We all know how frustrating it becomes to deal with vendor lock-ins. However, with open source software, there is no such hassle. The source code of open source software is available to all. Any company can work upon it and do customizations in line to specific requirements. If you choose an open source development partner, you do not get permanently tied to it. Whenever required, you can switch to another vendor because open source software is operated and maintained by multiple vendors, thereby reducing barriers to entry and exit.
3. Upgrades and continued development
In case of proprietary software, you are always dependent on the software manufacturer for upgrades and continued development. You do not have the right to take the program and develop it, as per your needs. In experts’ opinion, this problem turns out to be quite troubling for many businesses at the later stage.
Open source software effectively protects against this, by empowering all its users to customize it. So even if the originator decides to stop development, you can tweak open source software or hire a renowned open source software development partner to do the modifications and continue the maintenance and improvement. In short, with open source software you are not at the mercy of the vendor’s dictates. It’s up to you to decide when you want to upgrade the software.
Typically proprietary software takes weeks, if not months to patch vulnerabilities and remove bugs. In the open source software world? Not so much. Because open source software products are open to public view that enables anyone to do in-depth security reviews for flaws.
It is due to this continuous review that improves security of the open source software. Code defects that otherwise might get missed by the vendor gets identified and eliminated by the worldwide community of developers. So it won’t be wrong to say that open source software is definitely a more secure alternative to proprietary software.
5. Low software costs
If you compare the cost between proprietary software and open source software – the latter wins the race. Because the cost of purchase, virus protection, support and upgrade makes proprietary software way too expensive. On the contrary, open source software helps you minimize your licensing and maintenance fees and only makes you spend basic.
6. Ample support
With open source software, you get the benefit of worldwide support. Most open source software products have online communities that offer support documentation and live support chat. You can also post your queries in the online forums to get them answered by any of the developers.
In addition to this all, most companies who do open source software development provide maintenance and support.
7. Fast deployment
Open source software involves much faster deployment than proprietary software because it can be tested and tried prior to procurement. That is the reason why many experts recommend open source software for rapid prototyping and experimentation.
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