Open-source software is something more and more companies are beginning to implement. This type of software application offers users a source code, which they are then free to modify.
The IT industry has become increasingly reliant on open-source software in the past few years. However, you’ll need to think about the advantages and disadvantages before choosing to use this type of software within your company. So, this blog post will highlight the key benefits and drawbacks.
Open-source software advantages
A cost-effective solution
Open-source software is usually free to use, making it a cost-effective solution for some business owners. Whether you are looking to cut back costs after the past two years or just update your software without breaking the bank, it could be a solution to consider for any type of business.
As a user, you are generally not required to pay to use this type of software, and it’s free to install. Nonetheless, the quality can still be excellent – almost as good as many paid software options.
A reliable software option
Reliability is critical when choosing a software provider. The software is developed by a team of experts who are at the top of their field. So, you’ll have a solution that could support your business, but this often depends on what industry you are operating in.
If there are any issues, you can be sure the community will quickly identify and resolve these. This is one of the top advantages, as experts constantly monitor it. Furthermore, faults are usually fixed fairly quickly, which results in fewer disruptions to business.
For businesses who are looking for software solutions that will help them to scale their company over the next few years, open-source software is a great option. You can scale up or down depending on the current climate with your industry and ensure you are offering your employees and customers the tools they need to succeed.
You can use it anywhere in the world
One of the main benefits of open-source software is the remote design – it can be used anywhere in the world.
There are fewer restrictions with open-source software, especially when compared to traditional software solutions. You’ll find that the licensing options are convenient for businesses with employees working anywhere in the world.
Especially while so many companies are working remotely, this is a great solution that will offer all your team the tools they need to work from home.
Thousands of people maintain the software
Open-source software is managed by thousands of people, all involved in different ways.
This helps to minimise the chance of bugs and ensure that it remains error-free for users. As soon as you notice a bug in your open-source software, you can report it straight away to the community. From there, it can be fixed as soon as a developer is available to work on it.
Open-source software disadvantages
Not all open-source software is easy to use
As with any type of software, open-source software and applications vary in their ease of use.
You’ll find that some of the user interfaces are very challenging for users, but others are much easier. If you have employees in your company who aren’t as confident with technology, this might be more of an issue for them.
For that reason, companies must invest in training and spend time and resources on this. You’ll want to compare software solutions to find one that will be easiest to implement within your business.
Open-source software is open to edit, which has both advantages and disadvantages. One of the biggest concerns is security. When someone takes advantage of this setup, they might disrupt the code and cause issues for everyone using the software.
While some people have good intentions to improve the software for everyone, unfortunately, cybercriminals are on the increase. We’ve seen more issues in the past two years with security than ever before, so you’ll need to be very wary.
Not all hardware is compatible with every piece of open-source software. You need to make sure you’ll be able to use it with your office setup. This could delay the process of using new software if you aren’t able to use it on every machine.
For some companies, you may find it’s too costly to invest in new hardware just to use a piece of software. It’s all about finding the solution that works best for your company and ensuring it’s both practical and cost-effective.
Maintaining open-source software
While we appreciate that open-source software doesn’t require any upfront payment, you may find there are some extra costs as time goes on. Maintenance is one of the most costly parts of this type of software, as the original developers may have abandoned the project. This could mean you might need to pay for third-party support, which could cost more than other software solutions.
Make sure you compare the overall costs of different software options so that this open-source software disadvantage doesn’t become too problematic for your business.
As you can see, open-source software has both advantages and disadvantages. By putting these head-to-head with other software solutions, you can be sure you find the right one for your business.
BSPOKE Software will be here to help you find the perfect option for your business in 2022. We offer custom software for businesses in any industry. You can see examples of past projects we’ve worked on, which will give you an idea of how custom software can benefit your organisation.
If you are looking for a way to make your business more effective and productive this year, custom software is well worth considering. Contact us today for more information or to discuss any questions you have.