Open Source Software
Open source software is released under non-proprietary licenses and, therefore, is available to the public. This type of software allows for a broader range of access, a collaboration between developers, and ultimately improved software quality. By allowing the code to be viewed, copied, learned from, altered, and shared freely, open-source software helps decrease development costs and encourages more innovation in the tech industry. Open source also allows programmers to work on projects created by different teams, companies, and organizations, as they are not viewed as proprietary creations. Ultimately open source provides numerous benefits for users that can help them further their projects cost-effectively.
What are the benefits of using open-source software?
- Flexibility and agility: The use of open source software has many benefits, including increased technology agility, more project development opportunities and skill development possibilities, free and easy accessibility, and the ability to manage agile projects such as Scrum or Kanban effectively. Open-source software keeps IT organizations unblocked by providing multiple ways of solving problems.
- Speed: Speed is an important benefit of using open-source software because it allows for rapid development and implementation, making it faster to adopt and use than other alternatives. It also provides the ability to quickly scale up an enterprise-level project, giving businesses the flexibility they need. Professional support and services are also available for open-source products, making them a reliable choice.
- Cost-effectiveness: Open-source software is more cost-effective than closed-source software because enterprises can start small and scale as needed. The maintenance costs are reduced due to a community of contributors maintaining the applications.
- Ability to start small: The ability to start small with open-source software is beneficial because it allows businesses to explore alternatives and find the best solution for their specific needs. This cost-effectiveness of open-source software helps businesses save money while still being able to access high-quality solutions.
- Solid information security: It is important when using open-source software because it eliminates potential vulnerabilities through shared data and code audits. Better tooling and training for SBOMs can also help improve security levels. Having a risk assessment tool in place to identify and prioritize risks is also important in using open-source software.
- Attract better talent: Open-source software is attractive to better talent because it offers them flexibility and freedom, allowing them to contribute in a way that best suits their skills and interests. Furthermore, open-source software supports agile project management methodologies such as Scrum and Kanban, allowing teams to develop faster and more effectively.
- Share maintenance costs: Using open-source software to share maintenance burdens offers a great cost-saving benefit. A report from 2008 estimated that the total development cost of a Linux distribution was around $10.8 billion in 2008 dollars, indicating that using open-source software can reduce costs significantly compared to maintaining an application on your own.
- The future: Open-source software looks promising and will likely be increasingly utilized in various industries. As the cost-effectiveness and reliability of open-source solutions continue to prove themselves, companies are starting to invest more in this type of software development. The highest-velocity open-source project, Kubernetes, is evidence that organizations recognize the importance of open-source technology. To further strengthen the security and resilience of such software, organizations like The Linux Foundation and OpenSSF have come together with federal agencies to create a plan to improve upon these aspects. Some investments proposed by this plan include immediate improvements and building a strong foundation for future progress.