When selecting technology for your business, you want to ensure that the solutions you pick grow with your organization. So, as you secure your systems, open-source software can be a practical consideration to help your ever-growing business.
The widespread adoption of open-source technology helps improve your products and services, as well as your internal services. In addition, these types of systems can give you the flexibility you need to hack your growth consistently.
If you want scalable growth, free and open-source software should be the way to go. Here are 6 benefits of using free and open-source software for your business and your daily use.
Apps are a must in almost every business scenario. Then again, app development is quite expensive, especially for enterprise solutions. Relying on in-house developers can cost a lot of time and money that most organizations don’t have. When you rely on other providers, cost and lack of creative control become an issue.
With free and open-source software, your cost is almost zero, if not 100% free. As many of these projects are public, you can get nearly everything for free. Even software that has a separate personal and enterprise version will cost much lower than its competitors.
Free apps not only save you a lot of money but also help reduce your overhead costs, especially if you’re a small business. As your business grows, you have several options to keep up with your needs. You can continue to use the open-source software, modify it to create an internal network, or move on to more powerful enterprise software.
In the past, many businesses created software to help build towards better hardware innovation. From machine learning algorithms to word processing, many did not consider software as a business asset. That all changed over time, as computers can do more and software has become more powerful.
Not every software can do everything that its users need. In many situations, there are niche use cases that many enterprise software doesn’t cater to. With open-source software, you can see the software’s source code and make necessary adjustments to cater to different needs.
With the right improvements, software engineers can create forks that provide a more bespoke solution. Some add plugins that allow the software to interface with other software and expand on its functions. Mods also alter the code in its entirety to alter existing functions.
One common issue for many closed-source apps is the level of privacy they have. Privacy is essential, especially for businesses that are looking into sensitive and classified information. Unfortunately, some software spy on their users through data diagnostics and analytics data, whether we like it.
Within the sea of legal information hidden within a EULA, some companies have their apps scan your hardware by default. Some do so to improve on the software and use real-time analytics to create patch fixes. Others simply have a hard drive scan baked into their software to give them access to information without warning.
Open-source, free software mostly has an entire community handling its integrity verification, including source code reviews. Most communities religiously data mine source codes to search for potential issues. It is doubtful for open-source software to have privacy-invasive code in it.
A primary benefit of free, open-source software is the level of flexibility that it provides your business. As we noted before, companies and individuals are free to modify and improve on the open-source software they get. This allows customization from the ground up and helps create custom solutions. This is not the case with proprietary software.
Most proprietary software leaves you at the mercy of its updates. Depending on the type of software you have, you will likely ask the developers for features you need, usually on their forums or through support. However, whether they roll out the community’s desired features is a gamble, and it might never happen.
With open-source, you can flexibly remove components that you believe are simply bloat. In the same vein, you can also add features that you want and fix issues as you see fit. With enough customization, you can have software do all your needs without waiting for a third party to do it for you.
Many disparage free and open-source software for their security issues, noting how the public source code can result in exploits for a company. However, the truth is that an open-source app can have much tighter security than a proprietary system due to the community in charge of the changes done for the software.
In developer communities, many rely on stable builds that take in community input, mainly for security. Even test builds undergo rigorous checking from the community, primarily to ensure that the developers do their jobs correctly. Some programs also have devs who look for exploits and report them to others.
Open-source addresses potential bugs and communities can create fixes for them. As long as the software has a big enough community, you can expect very low risks. You can expect transparency, as well as protect yourself from common issues associated with proprietary software.
A Community Around
We’ve talked about the open-source community repeatedly over the past few entries, and this advantage is distinct for such software. Open-source relies on its active community of not only developers but also enthusiasts and creatives. The bond that connects people comes from a drive to support and improve the user experience for the solution.
Communities around software are perfect not only for individuals but also for businesses. Many have the common goal of improving the software, adding features to it, and customizing it for their needs. While proprietary software companies have dev teams, open-source have entire communities that outsource the work among themselves.
The collective power of individuals who come from diverse talents and backgrounds can be powerful. It can help secure the software, improve it further, and help with its longevity.
Free and open-source software is the basic building block of a free and open internet. As software continues to evolve, businesses can rely more and more on software that came from the arduous work of talented developers and creators worldwide. If you consider if open-source apps are right for you, these benefits should help you make the right decision.