Open source software is essentially software that lets any user modify the source code. Even if you’re not a programmer, this kind of software can offer major benefits to your organization that proprietary software can’t.
Beyond making things like online IT training and internal code more accessible, there are many advantages to using open source software. The following points outline just some of the many reasons to use open source programs in your operations.
It’s no secret that the vast majority of startups fail. That can be a problem for your organization if you rely on software from a small vendor that goes out of business. Switching to a new program is both time-consuming and expensive.
This isn’t the kind of problem you have to worry about when using open source programs. That’s because they’re typically developed collaboratively. Even if one vendor is no longer available, you’ll still have access to many others who can provide the support you need.
Most vendors will insist they’re taking all steps necessary to ensure their software is secure. Unfortunately, it’s hard to verify these claims if the development process isn’t transparent.
With open source software, it’s much easier to investigate whether vendors are taking a proactive approach to security issues. The open development process allows for a degree of transparency that other vendors simply can’t offer. If you have tech-savvy employees who understand how to read and manipulate the source code, it also becomes easier to identify and address security problems before they get out of hand.
This transparent development process also makes it possible to vet a program and its developers in general. By looking at factors like a software’s popularity and update schedule, you can more accurately determine whether a program will meet your growing needs.
Free Market Support
Odds are good you’ll need vendor support at some point when using a program. If you rely on one party to provide the necessary support or make adjustments, you’ll need to pay their fees and/or accept their limitations if they’re not willing to make a particular change.
Open source software is different. The free market approach to development means others can provide aid if one vendor doesn’t satisfy your requests.
Licenses for proprietary software are designed to protect the provider. They’re filled with clauses that can make it difficult to sue a vendor if you’re not pleased with their behavior or product. Additionally, these licenses can allow vendors to impose higher fees.
That’s not the case with open source software. Because no single vendor owns the product, licenses protect the customer first. You’ll have the right to use the software as you wish without the limiting restrictions typically found in software licenses.
No matter what industry you work in, your organization needs reliable and affordable software. These requirements are much more easily met with open source options. Instead of relying on a single vendor, make the switch to products that offer a much greater degree of freedom and reliability than proprietary software ever could.
Anna Power is a writer and social media marketing professional. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and Marketing Management at Hofstra University and has been working for a digital marketing agency in NYC for the last 5 years. Anna is especially interested in the intersection of new technologies and marketing strategies, and writes extensively about the topic. Her other hobbies include travel, trying new coffee shops, and playing with her two cats.