Selecting the best technology for your organization may seem like a time-consuming task. Hence, business owners require careful foresight and extreme consideration for choosing software solutions that support their constantly changing commercial needs.
Therefore, around 60% of companies today utilize OSS (open-source software) to conduct their business operations. Some businesses have even started relying upon this facility without knowing that OSS sustains their IT infrastructure.
So, how do we advocate in favor of using open-source software? We’ll mention some advantages of adopting this facility. But let’s understand what exactly we mean by open-source software.
Advantages of OSS for business organizations
When you obtain open-source software, you’re allowed under a license to change/modify this software, duplicate it for distribution, and – most importantly – sell services/products related to it. You can even change its source code to adjust to your commercial needs. OSS such as Apache and NGINX serves those websites you visit occasionally. These licenses may vary since some allow your changes to be available for everyone. In contrast, others compel you to keep these modifications private. So, what arguments can be presented for the general acceptance of OSS in 2021? Here, we’ll discuss some reasons why open-source software has become not just a luxury but a necessity for modern-day business:
Using open-source software makes a company independent and gives them the freedom to switch to their favorite software. For instance, businesses use Airtable that has a spreadsheet-like interface offering database capabilities. But we have several Airtable competitors that provide similar services to end-users. These alternatives make businesses self-reliant while opening doors for upgrades in the future. So, organizations can now control business operations independently.
Using open-source software enables companies to attract fresh talent. Technical experts are aware of how OSS has almost become the norm for enterprises today.
So, business owners can empower developers and give them more flexibility by adopting open-source software. It allows developers to create software-based projects while interacting with professionals outside your organization. You can catch the attention of well-skilled and highly-experienced individuals this way.
OSS provides scalability that lets even small businesses invest in this facility and keep adding more features as the company grows. In traditional software, the company depends upon the developer to allow utilizing the software.
But open-source software solutions allow you to acquire it easily and add/remove whatever features you seem proper. Even if you can’t code, it’s possible to employ the services of experienced programmers to add something to the source code for you.
If your competitors have outpaced you in terms of agility, adopting open-source software seems like the obvious solution. It speeds up your business operations with its quick acquisition, speedier deployments, and innovative community-driven features.
Organizations don’t compromise on speed, and OSS helps them speedily develop a product that operates instantly. No wonder open-source software belongs to the generation of “download-and-go” technical solutions.
Using open-source software solutions offers you complete visibility into the source code you’re allowed to alter/modify as per the company’s specifications. Also, as the community of developers discusses further improvements to the program, these discussions are available to you. Now, try to compare this with proprietary software solutions where discretion leads to unpleasant surprises. So, there aren’t any “lock-in” surprises with OSS, and you know what you’ve bought.
You might’ve heard of the Linus’ Law stating that enough eyeballs make bugs shallow. In software development, this saying means that errors are detected easily when different people are testing. In close-source software, nobody outside your organization can learn of a bug’s existence. But open-source software has more discovered bugs than its closely-guarded alternative. So, using OSS makes sure that errors are found and patches are applied, thereby offering superior security.
Open-source software counts as a community-driven technology where different developers located internationally contribute their joined efforts to improve OSS. Unlike traditional software where an internal team of technical experts works alone, open-source solutions benefit from the combined endeavors of several communities. They constantly introduce better concepts and innovative ways to improve the efficacy of the software from which your organization can benefit too!
When a company adopts proprietary software, it’s restricted to using solutions the software offers. But this isn’t the case with OSS. Open-source software provides you flexibility so you can modify it as per the company’s requirements. Proprietary software ensures that you’re bound to work within their ecosystem by limiting integration with third-party applications. But OSS doesn’t enforce limits upon the end user’s priorities and doesn’t dictate what you can do with the software.
We’ve already discussed how OSS is a community-driven technology where different developers work on improving it. These ongoing experiments make open-source software a refined version of the original OSS.
But these testings don’t stop here; instead, they continue making the software more advanced than before. So, enterprises utilizing open-source software can always benefit from the most refined form of software technology available to them now.
Lastly, the most common reason cited for the general acceptability of OSS involves this facility being cost-effective. According to Karl Fogel, open-source software being “free” is a tricky point because – even if there isn’t any upfront cost to use/modify it – maintaining this software does cost you money in the long term. But it’s still cheaper than its alternatives. Many organizations prefer choosing open-source software solutions instead of going with proprietary ones today.
Conclusively, let’s restate the correct definition of OSS. Open-source software stands for any software that allows license-holders to utilize and change/distribute it for commercial reasons (or any reason they fancy).
So, how popular is this technology? We have statistics available from 2016 revealing that 65% of companies contribute to open-source projects. You probably use Linux, which is an OSS as its derivative Android.
Organizations invest in this facility because OSS is decentralized, can be customized, and offers more control to business owners. Also – as the name indicates – this technology is “open” to everyone. These factors contribute to the massive acceptability of OSS globally.