Why to use Open Source Software?

Benefits of Open Source Software


Open Source Software is normally available for free and in some cases, additional enterprise features and useful tools may be available at nominal charges. The software is developed by a community of brilliant developers and the source code gets inspected by hundreds of programmers around the world. This allows quicker identification and fixing of critical software bugs in comparison with proprietary software. This is why many mission critical applications are based on Open Source Software. Here are some of the top benefits of using Open Source Software -

1. Cost Savings - Open Source Software significantly reduces the overall cost of your IT system because the core software is openly available and is supported by several developer communities.

2. Reliability and Less Vulnerability to Attacks - Open Source Software is more reliable and less vulnerable to attacks. The critical bugs are often fixed very quickly as soon as they are identified. This is why Open Source Software is the most trusted platform for server computing.

3. Open Standards - Open Source Software adopts open industry standards that allow better interfacing across applications and have no compatibility issues. You are never locked to a single software vendor.

4. Freedom - The company enjoys complete freedom when using most Open Source Software. If your organisation requires custom implementation, there is no need to write the software from scratch. It is far more economical to develop a custom solution based on the core of a reliable Open Source Software. Aaryasoft Technology can help you in making appropriate choices and developing custom solution considering your requirement.

Open Source Software is developed under agile environment and the software continues to evolve as a result of contributions from hundreds of programmers and user communities around the world. This means the company can immediately take advantage of new technology and innovation. Open Source Software enjoys extended life cycle. This is because, other community members still continue to support the software even though original developers may leave the project. Proprietary software companies stop supporting software products when the managers perceive lower salvage value in further developing them. Open Source Software helps companies in Lean Management in various ways.

Some Common Myths about Open Source Software

Myth #1. Open Source Software is not reliable and cannot be used in mission critical applications. - This is absolutely incorrect and not based on facts. According to NetCraft's survey, over 66% of the world's busiest million websites use Apache Server. London Stock Exchange recently replaced their .NET based expensive solution to a Linux based solution as the earlier solution crashed on more than one occasions and brought the market to standstill for several hours. Similarly, there are many examples of mission critical applications based on Open Source Software such as Linux, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Python and PHP.

Myth #2. Open Source Software is not professionally supported. - There are many small and medium scale companies that provide the required level of professional support for your business. Aaryasoft Technology can help you find a suitable solution based on Open Source software and offers a range of professional services for SME companies in Europe and India.

Myth #3. The support is very costly and there are no real savings. In some cases, skill shortage can cause higher support costs. However, today there are many professionals available having key skills such as Linux, MySQL, PostgreSQL, PHP and Python. Many young programmers are learning these skills to advance their career. So, the support costs are really not as high as claimed by proprietary software companies such as Microsoft. Moreover, over the life of your IT system there are many other important costs that you need to consider such as -
(1) The costs that you incur because of getting locked to a certain vendor - Organisations get locked in two ways: firstly, they must get costly support from proprietary companies and secondly they are forced to make expensive upgrades (to both hardware and software) in order to get some feature improvements and to improve performance marginally.
(2) The cost of hardware required that grow exponentially as your requirements grow. Using scalable Open Source Software, it is possible to make substantial savings on server costs (hardware + server license costs).
(3) The support and maintenance costs due to vulnerabilities in the software - Organisations face significant losses when the server crashes or gets attacked and cannot cope with the peak traffic. With Open Source software, you may never experience such unplanned downtime. Developer communities usually fix critical bugs in the Open Source software as soon as they are identified and the patches can be easily applied at almost no cost.

Myth #4. Most people use Open Source Software only because it is free! As discussed earlier, this is an unfounded claim. The fact is that Open Source Software is used on most servers because it is more secure, reliable and scalable and users can truly enjoy the freedom of using, developing and distributing the software.

Myth #5. It is all about Linux and Open Source Software is not for desktop users. It is true that most desktop users still use Microsoft's Windows software simply because most computers are sold with pre-installed windows software. However, there are many good alternatives such as Ubuntu, Firefox and Chrome which are very user-friendly. Android applications are getting wide popularity in mobile computing. Besides this, many Open Source applications are web-based and they can be used from any web browser.

Myth #6. The company will loose its strategic advantage, if Open Source Software is used. An efficient IT system plays an important role in achieving competitive edge over other rivals. Many companies try to achieve this by developing software internally which fits their specific business requirements. Secondly, the management may not want to expose the internal functioning of their business to the outer world. So, many companies avoid using Open Source Software. This can be a complex issue for some organisations and requires analysing current and future business requirements. However, in most cases, the opposite is true. The company is more likely to lose competitive advantage because of getting locked to a specific software vendor. In most cases, the advantages of Open Source Software not only outweigh disadvantages; but also make the company more efficient and competitive in the market.

Aaryasoft Technology provides both software and management consultancy to address your current and future business requirements. It can not only help you select the right technology, but also help you devise appropriate IT strategy for your business. A glance at following facts will show you how Open Source Software can help you become more competent.

Protecting the code does not make it more secure. There are more viruses and security vulnerabilities in Windows software than on Linux. In fact, Open Source Software is open to the world and anyone can inspect the code. The critical bugs are usually identified and fixed very quickly by developer communities. Empirical research shows that Open Source Software is not only less vulnerable to attacks but is also more reliable. Strategic advantage comes from several fitting activities linked together within the organisation rather than from software alone. Software merely serves as a tool. In reality, any advantage based on some innovation in the software is not sustainable. Sooner or later other competitors can develop equivalent or even better technology. But, what really matters is your company's key data, differentiation based on key activities and supplier-distributor networks. The company can achieve high customisation and It is possible to develop custom solutions based on the core of a reliable Open Source Software. Aaryasoft Technology can help you in making appropriate choices and developing custom solution considering your requirement.

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