The benefits of open source are well-documented and vast, but what are enterprises most interested in when it comes to open source software? In this blog, we’ll cover 5 important benefits to know and communicate if your business is considering adding open source software to their infrastructure.
The top 5 benefits of open source are:
Keep reading to explore the top five benefits of open source in depth.
What's the Biggest Benefit of Open Source Software?In this Forrester Consulting study commissioned by Perforce, they found companies who adopt open source are experiencing benefits flexibility, faster innovation, better employee satisfaction, and lower operational overhead.Read the Study
In this Forrester Consulting study commissioned by Perforce, they found companies who adopt open source are experiencing benefits flexibility, faster innovation, better employee satisfaction, and lower operational overhead.
Read the Study
Freedom and flexibility are central to the values of open source software, and that is perhaps best exemplified by the accessibility of the software. Most open source projects can be pulled from public repositories and used immediately.
Why is that important to businesses? By removing barriers to developer tools and building blocks, developers can begin the work of enhancing your systems immediately without waiting on procurement or license barriers. Furthermore, access to the source code allows developers to enable themselves quickly, reducing the learning curve to being effective with the technology.
Open source software code will be seen and critiqued by a community of people. Developers are more apt to write better code knowing other experts are going to be looking at their code and reviewing it.
One of the fundamental pillars of open source software development is the express and shared goal of creating excellent software. By implementing software review and community acceptance, shared communities inspire excellence in development. If you know that your peers will be looking at your code publicly, you’re likely to do your best work.
Why is that important to your organization? Businesses already gain an organizational cost-benefit by not having to start creating code by scratch. We call that “standing on the shoulders of giants.” In order for that statement to carry any meaning, it’s critical that organizations can trust the quality of the code coming out of the community. Ultimately, starting with high quality components gives you a higher chance of having a custom build at a quicker speed – saving you time and money.
The most commonly mentioned benefit of open source software is cost savings. Typically, open source software implies that you are not obligated to pay for the use of software. You don’t need to use procurement overhead to manage license renewals.
It is highly beneficial to enterprises to save budget on software to utilize elsewhere. While this story of completely free software is changing for some products, with many communities utilizing closed and open components, for the most part open source software remains free.
Open source software security is a concern for many organizations, and something largely addressed by the “many eyes” theory of open source. The term, coined by Linus Torvald, is that if all of the source code for a project is made open there will be more opportunities for white hat professionals to review that code and make it more secure. This theory has continuously proved itself to be true.
Consider the Linux operating system. This operating system is considered to be one of the most secure software products in the world and its completely open source! Businesses are rightfully continuously concerned with the security of their infrastructure and data – by design open source is a lot more secure than you may assume.
When you have a product that someone is working on because they want to work on it, (not just because they’re getting paid) their personal drive to add creativity and contribute their best ideas tends to be a lot higher. This is often what inspires enthusiast open source communities to develop features that are new and disruptive, and why we see open source projects leading the way in terms of this disruption.
Why is this important to organizations? The pace of digital transformation has moved faster than anyone predicted. In the coming decade, the companies that cannot keep up with innovation will quickly become outdated. All organizations should be focused on modernizing and digitizing their products and assets, and that includes a proactive and energetic strategy for the consumption and management of open source software.
OpenLogic by Perforce delivers comprehensive support services for open source software, so that your teams can enjoy the all the benefits of using open source — and confidently meet your requirements including compliance with regulations such as GDPR, HIPAA, and PCI.
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Ex-Chief Evangelist - OSS & API Management, Perforce Software
Justin has over 20 years of experience working in various software roles. He is an outspoken free software evangelist, delivering enterprise solutions, technical leadership, and community education on databases, architectures, and integration projects.