According to the 2020 Redhat report about the state of Enterprise Open Source, 77% of respondents agree enterprise open source will continue to grow for the years to come. Open Source is becoming essential to successful technological growth, the only way to secure your place at the heart of the innovation market. Let’s take a look at the 6 advantages of Open Source software for organizations.
The state of Enterprise Open Source
Real-world stats and figures are worth better than a thousand words. Here is the strategic place of Open Source in companies. Extracts from the 2020 Redhat report.
95% of CIOs say open source is strategically important.
The decrease of Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) represent one of the most important advantages identified by companies.
Improving quality, one of the main benefits of enterprise Open Source
The fall of proprietary software
The use of proprietary software is declining sharply. In fact, in two years, proprietary software will represent only 32%. But is it that surprising? Considering that the cost and the lack of flexibility of proprietary licenses involve high investments and a strong dependence on suppliers, it sounds logic. However, what’s surprising is the speed with which organizations are moving away from proprietary software. Even though changing software is a decision that usually takes time, within two years, enterprise Open Source is expected to grow from 36% to 44%. Quite impressive, right?
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6 advantages of Open Source software for companies
1. Software quality improvement
One of the major advantages of Open Source software lies in its very own essence: the source code is open, so you can have total transparency. You are no longer dependent on a proprietary code. You can see each element for yourself. This direct access is a real advantage because you know what you are working with. And this is an indispensable element when you are in critical sectors. You can easily make sure that product code is of quality, well developed.
2. Better Return on Investment
Let’s be honest: when CIOs choose a tool for teams, the budget is a key element in the purchasing decision. Especially when you want to deploy its use throughout the entire enterprise.
Although Open Source projects or products often have all or some parts of the software available, this doesn’t mean that it’s free. And besides, this isn’t the subject, as Richard Stallman said: “Open source is a matter of freedom, not price. Think of “free speech,” not “free beer.” Nevertheless, the capital expenditure (CAPEX) of Open Source software is often lower than proprietary software.
If some cite the hidden costs of Open Source tools, this is because they’re only looking at one part of the Open Source market. There is a difference between “create your own IS with some bricks of Open Source projects” and “the use of fully supported all-in-one enterprise Open Source solutions”. The professional part of the Open Source ecosystem gives an important drop of TCO (Total Cost of Ownership). And that’s why the world’s leading organizations and pioneers in the IoT and technology innovation sectors rely on Open Source solutions.
3. High security
The transparency of Open Source software ensures security. In fact, Open Source allows consulting the code; and because you can analyze it, communities can more easily detect potentials hidden breach. Possible vulnerabilities are more likely to be detected and corrected. That’s a good way to make sure that a software respects the essential principles of security and in consequences, that no mechanism is hidden.
Security through darkness – the non-disclosure of information relating to their operation in order to ensure their security – doesn’t work. Choosing a proprietary product isn’t more secure than an Open Source software. On the contrary, Open Source is often at the heart of successful implementations of security protocols.
4. Independence from suppliers
The first advantage is, in fact, the more obvious: Open Source software gives back their freedom to companies. That’s no surprise, and you’ve probably already experienced it, proprietary license solutions have all the power over the tool, and therefore, over their users, over you. With a proprietary license, as simple customers, choices of the editor have a direct impact on you and your movements, which are for the least, quite limited.
While the “security” argument that justified this method was convincing a few years ago, the introduction on the market of Open Source solutions, which offer security and freedom to their customers, is overturning this traditional model.
With the choice of an Open Source software, you finally get out of the vicious circle of “vendor lock-in” and rather move towards independence. You’re free to operate as you want: you can choose to make your own modifications in the source code, add elements, modify the software according to your needs… In short, you regain control over your data, and tools.
5. Dynamic of open innovation
From now on, enterprises clearly understand that you don’t run the innovation race alone. Achieving the technological excellence you’re looking for can only be done through sharing resources – competences, knowledge. Going for Open Source means benefiting from an open and high-quality product, but also from a collaborative dynamic, that emphasizes open innovation. Because it is open, Open Source solutions encourage contributions, improvements and adaptations. For instance, the new and unique OpenRoadmap concept created by the Tuleap Community aims at bringing together organizations in order to discuss and co-fund future product features, which enhances Open Innovation.
Choosing the right tool can be decisive for any type of organization, because the wealth of the company often relies on it. In B2B, the relationship with the supplier is just as important as the tool itself.
By choosing a software provided whose license is proprietary, nothing protects you against them. You are linked to their every action: modification of the source code, radical change of orientation…
On the other hand, an Open Source solution assures the sustainability: the “open” character allows to the company to never lose its work tool and all its assets, that means all the wealth of information it contains.