Internet and Open-source are the two best things happened to humanity in our era.
Right from Android to Linux, Wikipedia, GitHub, LAMP stack, WordPress, FireFox, GIS, and Hadoop – We are surrounded by open-source projects from all sides, which impact tech and businesses equally.
Microsoft’s open-source community, Facebook Open Source, IBM’s acquisition of RedHat, Wikipedia’s success and some more such examples confirm that technologies and technologists love open-source. On the other hand, businesses running on open-source technologies and leveraging its power are also a fan of it.
In more than 20 years of its journey, open-source technologies or products have witnessed hatred from tech pioneers as well as the passion of communities. But if we talk about the present, almost all tech giants and businesses are in its support.
Obviously, because of its positive impacts and benefits.
Let’s see what those reasons are:
Impact of Open Source on Tech world
The technology world has multiple reasons to support and appreciate open-source. It not only helps the tech world to advance but also provides a strong foundation for other technologies to grow. Here is how open source affects tech industry:
Collaboration Results in Better Products
Any software will need effort, ideas, time, implementation and a lot more, to grow into something big. One person or small group of people, working on a software product cannot ensure to dedicate their whole time on it. There are budget and time constraints to cope with.
As open-source lets everyone contribute and enhance the code, it makes it possible for a product to grow leaps and bounds. The continuous attention of multiple coders from around the world also ensures the consistency and quality of the product.
Open-source solutions are generic. Build to solve the problems of many; these projects are continually being enhanced as per the related problems they need to solve. The people utilising these projects show same willingness to add functionalities as per their needs and help the project scale. For every new challenge, multiple programmers are willing to invest their time and skills. So, open-source generally yields scalable solutions due to its openness.
For communities and professionals, it may appear like an unpaid task to collaborate on a project. But then why developers work on such projects willingly? The answer is – It enhances their skills, gives them good exposure & increases their knowledge. Providing access to well-developed products’ source codes, open source offers a never-ending opportunity to learn for the budding developers.
How long can you maintain the releases and version updates of one software product?
Not forever, right?
With multiple developers looking forward to using it and improve it, your software in the public domain can be kept updated forever. It is safe to say that open-source increases the maintainability of your code, which is otherwise a very tough thing to achieve.
Technologies are helpful for everyone, but tech companies always look suspicious to their customers or users. These concerns aren’t entirely baseless, as those people are giving out valuable information to products while using it. By making the source code available for all can put an end to such tensions while establishing trust and ensuring transparency alongside.
Impact of Open Source on Business world
For businesses, an open source is a super-advantageous option for many causes, such as:
78% of companies run of open-source. 19% use it in some way or another. Only 3% of businesses do not utilise open-source in any way. So, we cannot deny from the fact that open-source has a profound impact on companies and their operations.
The main reason behind this approach of businesses is the low cost associated with it. As the source code is made available for customisation, companies can customise these software products instead of building a complete solution from scratch.
Active communities, documentation, information available on the internet and regular improvements make these tools more efficient and user-friendly. These are the causes behind the fact that open-source does not outdated very quickly. Not restricted by the budget of development companies, these software applications can grow more efficient than your proprietary products.
Also, the cost-efficiency of open source allows businesses to gather more resources for their company, indirectly increasing their efficiency.
In the case of open-source, more and more tools, plugins, extensions, and modules to extend its capability for different types of users. Integration of your code to customise these programmes is comparative easy too. On the other hand, proprietary tools will have lesser support tools when in need.
Contrary to what you are thinking, open source technologies are very secure. Every release is being monitored. With multiple users always looking forward to finding bugs, errors and problems to report in these, open source keep on improving all the time. Therefore, you can stay assured about the high quality and standard security implementations in good open source tools.
While talking about closed source ones, one cannot assure the security or current functionality in the long run.
An excellent large community and multiple paid or unpaid support options are available for most of the open source tools. Dozens of support documents or blogs/articles can be found on the internet whenever you face any problem with open source.
Communities make open source software more reliable, flexible and useful. Businesses, providing services directly or indirectly related to an open source tool, can use these tools for getting recognition. For that, they can help the community member and build long-term relationships with them. It pays in the long run.
Open-source does not restrict the tech businesses from earning, but it surely enables growth of their technologies and enhancement of their products. Making the source code available for everyone is, therefore, not a suicidal act. Instead, it lets the enthusiastic techies lend you their help in the betterment of your code. It ensures the continual improvement in your refined product, even if you are not working on it. For businesses, open source reduces the operation cost. So, it is undoubtedly a boon to everyone.