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Should You Incorporate Open Source Technology into Your IT Strategy?

January 15, 2015

With the entire year ahead of us, enterprise decision makers are evaluating which moves will help get 2015 off to a great start. A new IT investment is crucial to scaling up your sustainable solutions and focusing on Open Source technology can be a competitive differentiator for IT departments. Given the upward trajectory of this current trend, this type of technology offers the ability for customization, scalability, and stability, which are very attractive among enterprises. However, one factor that organizations are constantly striving for is innovation, while simultaneously improving operational efficiencies and decreasing costs. Keep reading to find out more about open source technology and how it fits into these organizational goals.

What is Open Source Technology?

Open Source technology refers to software that can be constantly modified because its design is publicly accessible. Source code is the part of software that most computer users don’t usually see; it’s the code computer programmers can manipulate to change how a piece of software—a program or application—works. Programmers who have access to a computer program’s code can improve that program by adding features to it or fixing parts that don’t always work correctly.

Many prefer open source software because they have more control over its functionality and consider it more secure and stable than proprietary software. Anyone can view and modify open source software, and may spot and correct errors or omissions that the program’s original authors might have missed.

Open Source IT Strategy

In almost every vertical, the adoption of Open Source software is on the rise and growing unprecedentedly. This technology represents a cultural shift and influence on everything from innovation, to collaboration among competitors, to hiring practices, and is revolutionizing the way organizations work and do business. In terms of these factors, incorporating Open Source into your IT strategy can positively affect your business’s bottom line, but in what ways?

  1. Problem solver: In the past, security and licensing acted as traditional barriers to adoption. Now, Open Source is driving change from the bottom up, a cultural shift supported by executives’ openness to work with active and strong communities to influence projects and spur innovation.
  2. Freedom from vendor lock-in: Vendor lock-in, also known as proprietary lock-in or customer lock-in, makes a customer dependent on vendors for their certain products and services. Open Source Software empowers you to customize the software without depending on the supplier.
  3. Improved quality: Quality is no longer a barrier to adoption, but instead drives companies to increase Open Source use. This trend is reinforced by thousands of developers working to reduce defects in code, improve its security, and innovate with new features and enhancements that get closer to what users want.

Many open-source technologies are mature, stable and well supported. They provide significant opportunities for organizations and users to lower their total cost of ownership and increase returns on investment. Ignoring this may put companies at a serious competitive disadvantage. Embedded open-source strategies will become the minimal level of investment that most large software vendors will find necessary to maintain competitive advantages during the next five years.

Does your organization utilize open source technology? If so, how has it affected how you operate?

Posted By: Ariana Hampton-Marcell


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