Recent studies show that 92 percent of small to medium-size businesses use at least one cloud-based software solution. There is no denying just how beneficial these tech solutions can be for a business looking to improve efficiency and productivity.
In recent years, cloud-based open source software programs have become very popular in the small business world. These programs are used to both build and maintain apps and software, as well as for a variety of other business-related purposes.
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What is Open Source Software?
Before we dive into the benefits of open source software, let’s know a bit about this technology. In short, open source programs are software that allow users to view, edit, and improve the program as per their needs. These programs are considered public domain and typically thrive on collaboration. Furthermore, most of the open source programs are available online today are free of charge.
The most significant difference between commercial software and open source is that access to the source code is available with open source software while commercial software has its source code a closely guarded.
Most of the commercial software claim to be more user-friendly and advanced. However, open source software are known for its ease of customization, which can address the unique requirements of the users.
A business is free to customize the source code as per its work model and needs. Once such software is programmed, you will need to take Application Performance Management (APM) seriously.
If you are on the fence about using open source programs for your small business, consider the following benefits.
1. Lower Set Up Cost Frees Up Money For Employee Training
Some business owners spend so much money on commercial software that they can’t afford to provide state of the art training to their employees. If employees are not adequately trained to utilize the power of the tech tools you have in place, productivity levels will begin to fall rapidly.
With open source software, you will be able to avoid things like setup fees and maintenance costs. Most commercial software demand a significant upfront cost, even if you opt for the subscription model. Open source software, on the other hand, is usually available for free and offers lower administration overhead costs and a higher degree of customer support.
Most of the open source software programs on the market have a vast community of users. It means you will be able to find the answers to your software issues in no time at all.
2. Don’t Let Security Issues Bring Productivity to a Grinding Halt
The biggest misconception most business owners have about commercial software is that it is secure. The truth is some of the biggest data breaches are caused on unsecured and for-profit software programs. If cybercriminals infiltrate your network, it can hamper productivity or even bring it to a halt.
A corrupted network will not function properly, which can lead to your business losing money, clients, and reputation. With open source software, you get a higher level of reliability and development quality. The source code on an open source program will be passed around and tested significantly by users. It means that you can rest assured the code will function properly.
If all of the bugs have been taken out of an open source software program’s source code, it will be nearly impossible for hackers to find a way into the system. Instead of worrying about things like viruses or downtime, you need to consider using open source software for your business.
3. A Higher Degree of Transparency
Merely taking commercial software developer’s word regarding the security and functionality of their program can lead to big problems. Usually, companies that develop software for profit guard their program’s vulnerabilities citing the status reasons. This lack of transparency can lead to software missing out on the functionalities.
When using open source software, you and your employees can see every piece of code that makes it run. Having this information will allow you to assess just how well a program will work before you even start using it. Since you can’t verify the claims made by a proprietary software provider, you should avoid relying on it due to the dangers this can cause.
For the changing business needs, such as switching to the cloud, open source software can be customized easily. Hosting software on dedicated servers ensures that all the involved parties can work together in a transparent environment. Commercial software, because of their platform dependency, will demand certain configuration changes from the vendor.
4. More Freedom and Flexibility
If you are looking for a way to alter a piece of software to fit the individual needs of your business, then using open source programs is essential. One of the biggest problems that you face when buying a piece of commercial software is the one size fits all approach developers use to build these programs. Settling for a program that doesn’t meet the needs of your company is not a recommended practice.
With a piece of open source software and the help of an experienced programmer, you can change various parts of the source code to suit your needs. Being able to provide your employees with specialized software can help them work far more efficiently.
Before altering a program, be sure to speak with your team to find out what they feel is lacking in the current software they are using. Once you have this information, altering the open source program will be much easier.
While using open source software may seem a little challenging, it is a smart move if you are looking for precise business solutions to increase productivity levels.