The Benefits of Open Source Software in Business

  • Feb 26
The Benefits of Open Source Software in Business

Let me be the first to mention – I’m not a developer. Unfortunately, I have a very limited amount of knowledge when it comes to coding that helps me get by. So, app and software creation aren’t my area of expertise. However, what I lack in experience I make up for having worked directly with developers on various teams for a number of years. So, when speaking about the benefits of open source software, I can attest to its usefulness, particularly for smaller businesses.

If this concept is entirely new to you, then let’s go ahead and define some things before diving into the benefits of open source software. Generally, proprietary software keeps code strictly in the hands of the primary developer. That is, the person or team who created and owns it.

Open source software, on the other hand, distributes source code. That way, end-users can modify and change it to their needs without legal retribution. In simple terms, open source software can be shaped to meet the needs of whatever user accesses it.

One example of a well-known open source software is Mozilla Firefox, a web browser which became OSS in 1998.

Naturally, developers still must accept the terms of whatever license applies to the software. However, those differ drastically from proprietary software terms.

The Top Benefits of Open Source Software

1. Low Initial Costs

Now, we should make one thing clear, because many people have misconceptions about the meaning of OSS. Open source software is not always free. It simply means that if there’s a cost, then once purchased, end-user developers can make changes to the code. But even if there are associated fees with software, OSS still presents a low-cost alternative to in-house development. So, businesses just starting out can use it as a great alternative to fully developing something for internal use.

In plain terms, one of the benefits of open source software is that its often free or cheaper that proprietary software on the market. So, not only can your company’s developers shape it to meet your specific needs. They can do so at a fraction of the price.

2. Quicker Startup

If your business employs in-house developers, then utilizing open source software presents an avenue for faster startup. After all, rather than building an entire tool from scratch, they can start on a foundation laid by another team. That way, there’s less time spent developing a baseline MVP and more effort goes into making that tool work for your business specifically.

All-in-all, this leads to faster startup times for the tool. So, you can begin implementing it into your everyday processes much faster than attempting to develop something entirely proprietary.

3. Flexibility

Naturally, one of the top benefits of open source software is the flexibility it offers. Ultimately, that might be one of the primary reasons to go with OSS. Since it can shape (to an extent) to meet your specific needs, the possibilities are great.

In fact, developers sometimes even have the option of changing specific aspects of apps and tools that don’t mesh well with their needs. So, eliminating problematic components and filling in gaps is a main draw toward this sort of solution.

4. Security

Another reason open source software is such a popular option is because some developers feel it offers a greater sense of security. Since the changes and updates can be shared with other users, there’s greater chance of fixing bugs and patching risks faster. That way, you’re not left waiting for a proprietary owner to implement these kinds of fixes.

5. Community

Finally, the community-drivenness of open source software helps create a stronger network that encourages innovation and growth. This sort of collaboration fosters greater ties across different teams and companies, potentially delivering solutions one developer might not have envisioned.

As a result, your company can benefit from the knowledge and expertise of others, even if you’re an SMB. So, going back to cost effectiveness, OSS gives you access to a variety of different viewpoints and ideas when it comes to implementing your software effectively.

Discover Other Beneficial Software

Of course, it probably goes without saying that there are many other benefits of open source software. We haven’t covered all of them here, and some you can only discern through experience. So, if your interest is piqued, be sure to check into different open source software solutions for your company. You might find something that fits your needs perfectly.

But even if OSS is a great option, proprietary software is also extremely helpful. So, if you’re looking for helpful solutions to your business needs, make sure you know the different software available for businesses.

And if you’re looking for helpful web-based software for business education, VTR Learning has you covered. We have courses that cover everything from cybersecurity to human resources and leadership. So, be sure to check out our shop today!

Article written by Braden Norwood

Last updated February 26, 2024