New Year's Resolution: The Merits of Open Source Technologies

By Kenna Poulos

We are now into February and still going strong with our Tech Resolutions. If you have not taken our advice and switched to – or at least explored – open source technology, it is not too late!

Contegix is a long-time advocate for, consumer of, and contributor to open source technology. Many organizations build their cloud foundations with closed source – or proprietary – software. However, our team believes in universal access to software that is more reliable, stable (particularly for business environments), flexible, and cost efficient. We champion the freedom offered by open source development.

We are not alone in our support. Considering the countless business and government organizations that use open source software, it is obvious that there is a multitude of advantages to this approach. Everyone knows it is cost effective, but the value of open source technologies is more than price. In this post, we will cover three key advantages to exploring open source, and why switching to it could be a smart move for your company.

1. Reliability

Open source software is developed through massive collaborative efforts from volunteers across the globe (which accounts for those low costs). Because open source encourages collaboration (read: more people to view and test code) flaws, defects, or sudden failures are often noticed and fixed quickly. Open source programs such as Apache and Linux have proven to be reliable under the most strenuous of conditions. These features are also what makes open source more secure.

There is, however, an unfortunate myth about open source technology – that it is not secure, and therefore unreliable. The truth is that because of this wide-spanning network of developers, problems and security issues are corrected quickly and definitively. This results in fewer bugs, resolved gaps in security, and overall dependable technology solutions.

2. Flexibility

Open source software enables businesses to choose the applications that fit their needs; their creativity and business plans are not hindered by rigid software applications. Developers can simply modify the code to include functionality that suits their needs. Open source virtualization also ensures customers are not locked into one vendor, and therefore have more control over easily accessible applications.

Using open source to free yourself from vendor lock-in means you can depend on yourself to determine requirements, prices, priorities, and specifications of your product. As a user, you are in control of the software, and a worldwide community of developers at your disposal backs it up. In other words, flexibility means freedom.

3. Demand

The high demand for open source technologies is due in part to product quality. Even the federal government – who is often late to the party – is beginning to reap the benefits. They can align with the government’s current Open Data Policy, a federal initiative to facilitate adoption of open source data practices for government employees, contractors, IT enterprises, and the public. The government spends billions of the annual federal IT budget on maintaining legacy IT systems, but with open source technologies, the government will ultimately reduce their IT costs and become more adaptive in their approach to providing services.

The demand for open source is growing exponentially in government and business. The same assemblage of developers working to improve security and functionality of open source software are also creating innovative features and enhancements to open source products. From this comes richer functionalities and cost-effective alternatives that businesses want and need.

If you would like to learn more about open source technology or find out how Contegix can help integrate open source solutions for your business, contact us today!