As a custom software development company, we often utilize open source technologies in our projects as they provide for a number of substantial benefits. Below we will outline some of these benefits and why they have proven to be an invaluable asset to custom software development overall.
The beauty behind open source technologies is they can be tailored to the needs of a specific enterprise, added to or modified to fit unique requirements. They are inherently flexible in their nature. Although many commercial products claim to be flexible solutions, they typically aren’t flexible in the business sense, meaning flexible enough to change as business requirements change over time without being constrained by the software. While this is often strategic on their part in order for their customers to become dependent or locked in to their solutions, it is not so ideal for the enterprise. Given open source technologies do not exist for commercial benefit, they are typically free of dependency on related products. Overall, open source software provides flexibility through freedom. Freedom from both a single vendor as well as the freedom to modify the software over time.
With open source, many talented eyes are typically involved and focused on the code, making for often highly stable and capable code that can functionally compete with other commercial products. In fact, given its readiness, many open source products are proven technologies with strong communities of developers employing the code into their products over time, making it even more valuable. Given good testing and continuous code review, high quality can be ensured.
In addition to being highly available, flexible, and competitive, providers can often provide support options if desired. Even if support is not in fact offered by the provider, the overarching advantage to open source technology lies in the fact that it is quite easy to retain a company to provide support given the source code is freely available. There is nothing to say that suppliers profusely experienced and familiar with the software cannot provide support when necessary.
Lastly, the most obvious benefit to using open source technology is that fact that it is typically free without royalties or other fees. When it comes to custom software development the total cost of ownership is what matters. Utilizing open source technology in any given project can drastically reduce both upfront costs as well as long term costs associated with the life of a product. Some of these cost savings overtime include almost no vulnerability to viruses thus limited data lost or downtime, lower vulnerability to security breaches, the capability to prolong the life of hardware while retaining performance, longer uptimes reducing the need for costly system administrators and more.
Overall, given open source technology has so many substantial potential benefits, it would be foolish not to consider it in your products.