Why Open Source Software Offers a Business Advantage

Did you know that there are over 1 million open source projects online, with 10 million people contributing over 100 billion lines of code? That’s a lot of enthusiasm for open source.

So what is it exactly?

Open source is software based on source code that anyone can access, modify and enhance. Unlike proprietary software where the source code can only be adapted by its creators, open source encourages collaboration between programmers and leads to the development of online communities.

Businesses large and small are embracing open source as a long-term solution to their ongoing software needs. Let’s take a look at how your business can benefit from open source:

Open source keeps your business costs down

Open source software like WordPress and PHP Symphony is free to use. In fact, it’s estimated that it saves businesses $60 billion a year, making it the definitive disruptive technology.

A case study in the Sunday Times reported that Barclays bank achieved a 90% cost saving by using open source Linux software for their IT requirements.

Unlike many ‘free software’ platforms out there, open source software is generally free in every sense of the word – most don’t charge royalty or license fees and so offer businesses a huge cost saving.

Quality and reliability come as standard

Although open source software offers huge cost savings to businesses, it’s not the number one reason that companies use it. The Future of Open Source Survey found that 8 out of 10 companies choose open source because of the quality.

These platforms are constantly being developed in real-time, meaning they keep on getting better and better over time. Since open source technologies are used by many users, the technology is always evolving and improving from a usability and security perspective.

Additionally, any bugs in the software are normally identified and fixed very quickly thanks to the availability of the software’s source code. The collaborative efforts of all the developers that use open source software mean that platforms are largely error-free and fixes are included in updated versions of the programme, meaning that reliability and quality is guaranteed in future roll-outs.

Bullet-proof security

Having access to the source code enables developers to improve software security. With so many users regularly reviewing the source code, any security threats are quickly identified and action can be taken immediately to counter any attacks.