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. Some examples of open source software include:
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. Watch this video for more insights into the cost-saving benefits of the open source software:
What’s more, compared to proprietary software, open source doesn’t rely on, or cross sell recommended products, and so it offers buyers more freedom. The result is that your business acquires the right tools for the job, rather than the most convenient.
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.
It’s flexible to your needs
Rather than being restricted to the capabilities of one proprietary system, with open source software, you can modify and adapt design, functionality and processes to suit the way that you do business. It can be tailored to meet very specific industry requirements and made available for public use, saving developer’s valuable time.
For example, take a look at the WordPress plugins that we developed at Moove to share with the open source community.
Open source also gives you freedom from being locked into contracts with proprietary vendors, so you can easily upgrade or develop your software as your business grows. Open source assures long-term viability, without having to change vendors as your business develops.
Technical support is widely available
We’ve mentioned this before, but one of the greatest strengths of open source software is the communities that form around them.
For example at Moove Agency, we support many WordPress sites for our Enterprise clients for many years.
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.
As you can tell, at Moove, we’re big fans of open source software. It keeps business costs down, it’s reliable and high quality, it’s flexible to your needs, technical support is readily available and it offers great security.
Have a question about which open source CMS to use for your website? Read our 15 Reasons to use WordPress to power your website.
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