Regardless of the size of your business, the sector you operate in or the number of employees you have; open source can be of benefit in some shape or form. Many businesses and organisations have embraced open source, but not only because it is free. It is clear that there are a host of reasons that open source is and could be beneficial to your business.
The Security of Open Source
It might seem counterintuitive that open source software is increasingly secure on a daily basis. After all, everyone has access to it! However, everyone having access to it tends to make it more secure, as the sheer amount of people using open source software means that possible exploits are noticed and quickly rectified.
With proprietary software, the main problem is that nobody knows how many people are looking for and fixing bugs. Even when bugs and exploits are noticed, we have no idea when they will be fixed. On the other hand, open source software problems are normally fixed quickly and effectively due to the amount of people working to fix issues as soon as possible.
Flexibility to Suit You
One of the most beneficial things about open source software is that you typically can adjust it as much as you need without breaking any rules; you are free of problematic vender lock-ins. This means that you can delve into the code and adjust it to suit your requirements.
If your business has specific requirements, adjusting open source software to meet your particular requirements is both easy and cost-effective. You can build on top of the existing foundations without worrying about the legal retributions of doing so as a result of open source licences.
Open source software is free, but that doesn’t mean that it’s poor-quality software. Usually, we are led to believe that the best software is going to cost, whereas free software is an inadequate, budget option. This simply isn’t the case with open source. In fact, open source software can often be a higher quality than software you have to pay for.
Open source software has normally been created, modified and enhanced by thousands of capable developers. On the other hand, a premium product may have been created by a small team that simply do not have the resources necessary to keep improving their software. Which piece of software would you choose?
The involvement of the people actually using open source software in the creation of it typically means that it aligns better with the needs of users better than software that has been created without user input. For example, open source software is made by users for users. On the other hand, closed source software is usually made by a business to sell to users.
Commercial vendors may often focus on one flagship feature to enhance previously released software. Open source development is normally more expansive, with a lot of contributors all focusing on the creation of features that will help users rather than just one feature to impress potential buyers.