Open for Business: Leveraging the Power of Open Source
As a business, you’re always looking for ways to innovate. To do things smarter, better, more efficiently. Open-source software may give your company an opportunity to do all of that. If you know how to harness it.
What is Open Source Software?
Open-source software (OSS) is simply software whose source code is available for anyone to inspect, modify or enhance. Unlike proprietary or "closed-source" software, OSS is often developed publicly by a diverse group of developers, then released under a specific license stating how it can be used.
Open-source software (OSS) and free open-source software (FOSS) have little to zero upfront costs. If it doesn’t suit your needs, you can abandon or modify it without much risk.
ranked benefit of OSS among users: lower total cost of ownership. (#1 benefit? Higher quality software.) (2020 The State of Enterprise Open Source Survey)
OSS often inspires a vibrant community of users and developers to form around it. These folks invest their time and attention to make sure their project thrives and encourage others to join.
first-time contributors joined the open-source community in 2019.
(2019, GitHub The State of the Octoverse)
Security & Stability
Since its source code is public, OSS is reviewed and scrutinized by its community. This leads to more secure, stable software without "hidden" issues corporations may try to conceal from users.
of open source security vulnerabilities are disclosed with a fix already available.
Flexibility & Control
Open source means you can modify software to fit your needs rather than building from scratch. That means more customization and control than you’d usually get with proprietary software.
of IT leaders say open source is strategically important to their organization’s plans
(2020 The State of Enterprise Open Source Survey)
Speed & Efficiency
Since OSS is ready to "download-and-go," the acquisition process is much faster. Eliminating licensing fees, purchase orders and contracts can shorten your overall implementation timeline.
of the time, mature OSS met or exceeded quality expectations
(2017, Linux Foundation)
Innovation & Growth
OSS has been called an onramp to the future. Open source projects can provide a gateway to innovation and new opportunities for your business.
compound annual growth rate in the number of OSS projects from 2008 to 2018.
(2019, Open Source Compass)
Be sure thorough documentation is available for the software. Great documentation can make it easy to get started and find answers to questions that fit your use case.
problem encountered with open source software: Incomplete or confusing documentation.
(2017, GitHub Open Source Survey)
Look for a large community of backers, maintainers and contributors. A strong, active community means better software and a wealth of available information and support in the event of an issue.
developers on GitHub, including 10M new users in 2019.
(2019, GitHub The State of the Octoverse)
Not all OSS licenses are created equal. Some are more permissive in terms of how they can be used. Check the license and its requirements. It could save you a headache down-the-line.
of OSS use the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) License, which offers wide freedom of use, as long as you include the copyright notice in your software.
(2020, White Sources Software)
While upfront costs are low, if your open-source solution requires a team or vendor to handle ongoing maintenance and support — that could become a significant long-term investment.
estimated annual savings in total cost of ownership for infrastructure platforms based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux compared to systems running Windows Server.
(2013, Red Hat Study)
Leveraging open source
Increasingly, OSS has become the industry standard. Even tech giants like Microsoft are releasing some of their biggest products to the public. As the meteoric rise of OSS continues, more businesses will move toward this "bleeding-edge" of technology to be more innovative, cost-effective, agile and secure. Will you be one of them?
Interested in how we can make open source work for you? Let’s talk.