Why has open-source technology grown so popular in the business world? Many companies now have chosen open source technologies for their businesses. This is due to the fact that such software can be openly accessed, distributed, and modified by anybody. Open-source software is typically a free software product with source code available to developers. They have the ability to improve the program's performance, add new features, and correct problems. LibreOffice, Mozilla Firefox, and Chromium are some examples of such software.
Contrary to Open-source software, proprietary software is closed source software. Only the program's owners have access to the source code, which they can check and change. Some Microsoft, Adobe, and Apple products are instances of proprietary software. Some companies consider open-source software to be the norm, while others prefer to develop proprietary software.
The business sector can profit from open-source software in a variety of ways. However, there are two sides to every coin, just as there are in life. There are several disadvantages to using open source in the workplace that must be considered.
Let's take a look at the top pros and cons of using free and open-source software in the business place.
What Makes Open Source Software Development So Exciting?
- Open Source platforms allow getting recognition
Working on or managing open source projects can get you recognition from the developer community in a variety of ways, including building a strong GitHub profile and attending numerous technical events. You or your company can build a solid reputation by actively participating in the open-source community. It will be easier for you to locate employees eager to work for you, partners wanting to collaborate with you, and clients willing to hire your professional services if you represent a software development firm.
2. Good quality software
The quality of open source code is frequently higher. A piece of software-generated by a group of developers may be of poorer quality than software developed by thousands of developers with experience in various technologies, industries, and projects from around the world. Furthermore, defects in open source software are quickly detected because the code is regularly examined by different developers. The community's reviews, additions, and refactoring are all beneficial in this situation.
3. Cost-Effective Technology
If you're on a tight budget, open-source software may be a better option than paying for expensive solutions. This technique has low to no up-front expenditures. You only need to obtain the code from a reliable source and you're ready to go. In some cases where third-party products are involved, such as plug-ins, there may be a small cost incurred. Open-source software, on the other hand, is intended for anybody to download and use as they like, according to the terms of the license.
4. Highly Secure Software
Open-source proponents argue that, in general, open-source software is more secure than proprietary software. Bugs and other issues are usually addressed as soon as they are discovered by community members. Commercial software, on the other hand, is not in this category. It might take weeks or months for huge companies to address vulnerabilities and deliver a fix.
Furthermore, unlike certain private software companies, open-source products cannot purposefully misuse and abuse customers' data. This abuse would be discovered by the community, and the software's and its owner's reputations would be damaged.
What Isn't So Great About Open Source Software Development?
1. It's possible that open-source software won't last
The open-source software on which your company has placed its bets may suddenly vanish. When the community that was responsible for updating the program and writing modifications to the source code disbands, you'll be responsible for maintaining it and writing any changes that are relevant to your company. Because of the prospect of this happening, open-source is a risky choice for your company.
2. The endangering of the company's basic value
Anything that is critical to your business should never be open-sourced. If you have a trade secret — an idea or a method of implementing it that makes your company distinctive – you should not open source it so that your competitors can use it. However, if you have ideas or techniques that can be used by the general public without causing a financial loss to your company, open-source them.
3. Support isn't always trustworthy
It's comforting to know that if you have a problem with your software or application, you can turn to support for assistance. This isn't always the case with open-source software, and even when it is, the kind of SLAs you'd expect from a commercial enterprise-class software suite aren't always in place.
Organizations have a variety of tools to choose from, including open-source, proprietary, and off-the-shelf technologies. Many firms are more likely to either design their own tools or acquire tried-and-true off-the-shelf alternatives. Open-source software, on the other hand, is becoming increasingly popular and is being used by a growing number of organizations in both the public and commercial sectors. This raises the question of whether or not open-source software is appropriate for business use. There are pros and cons to consider before making this decision and it's vital to measure them against your objectives when deciding whether to use it.