Reasons to Adopt Open Source and Knowing the Limit

When developers first hear of open source, they think "free." And this is with a good cause: Who wouldn't be interested in a technology that they can get at no cost and use with few licensing restrictions? And for companies and enterprises, open source means "business agility."

Software on computers and mobile devices cover hundreds of patents. So as other electronic devices you own get the same treatment. Development to a certain extent can run into problems with patent laws and can land even amateur hardware designers in lots of trouble, sometimes without them realizing it. For that, many developers and designers think that they need a new alternative.

Open source as a development model promotes universal access via free license, universal redistribution of that design, including subsequent improvements to it by anyone. Open source gained more popularity with the rise of the internet in 1998, and when IT need massive retooling of computing source code. Open source enables a self-enhancing diversity of production models, communication paths and interactive communities, and arose to clarify the environment that the new copyright, licensing, domain, and consumer issues created. In general, open source literally means a computer program in which the source code is available to the general public for use and/or modification from its original design.

Open source software opens the gateway of creating new applications quickly and more economically. This is drawing businesses from big to small, to adopt open source and emboldening them to use it for ever-larger projects.

Reasons for Using Open Source for Businesses

There are 4 reasons why businesses of all sizes are taking open source seriously.


Price might be one small part, but it is one of the reasons that affect ones' decision, no matter what size the organization. By cutting down the initial price, companies can spend their time and resources on building on what they want in particular.

Though many developers and an increasing number of enterprises are adopting open source, not everyone is into it. Open source usage has grown since the last decade, but many developers decline to use open source tools primarily because they're worried about support and the lack of technical skills to manage open source efforts. Developers also concern about security and licensing to a lesser extent.

But developers and businesses that use open source, they can have smaller entities with niche software requirement in a cost-effective package.

Improvement with Time

Open source has always been part of the a community. Any research results about a project concerning open source are delivered among the community instead of keeping all the knowledge proprietary. Open source developers have long contributed that the methodology to produce better software. With a community lurking behind its back, flaws on open source's codes can be identified and addressed more quickly.

Open source software, platform and language, have their own "fans". These people actively contribute to develop better and better product in each release. And if a bug is present, developers who discover the bug can fix it on their own and then report it to the maintainers as well as issuing an updated version of the software on their own authority. Users of the software can choose whether to use the unofficial fix or wait for an "official" version blessed by the project team itself or a trusted authority such as one of the main distributors.

For its counterpart, bugs in a closed source software need to be filed. There will be a delay before the vendor determines when or whether to issue an updated release. Users of the software are much more at the mercy of the vendor's internal processes than with the open source arrangement.

Vendors with a stable revenue stream for their users can keep their business going although their customers haven't the need to change or upgrade to newer versions of the product that is working well enough to suit their needs. If a software supplier can establish a virtual monopoly and then force upgrades onto its audience, then the profits (and cost for customers) can be very high. Open source on the other hand, changes little by little throughout its lifetime. There won't be any significant change unless necessary.


Open source has the agility to react to the marketplace demands a lot more quickly than closed source. Open source provides this to developers and businesses alike by speeding up the pace of software development.

Developers benefits from open source by the ability to download a new code for a project rather than developing all from scratch. Businesses benefit from open source's ability to let them react quickly to the market they are aiming.

Open source also brings value in the form of flexibility. With these abilities, developers and companies can have updates on their software more frequently and can serve customers more quickly by giving fast answer to their expectations.

Less Risks and Dependencies

Another benefit to using open source tools is to reduce dependence on a single or multiple vendors. And for that, open source can reduce business risk.

Vendors come and go, and commercial priorities change, whereas a community's focus is more constant. Closed source are created for profit, and when it's no longer commercially viable, the company that created it will stop developing it, and their users will no longer have access to the source code or its repositories. This won't happen with open source.

With open source, users are sharing development costs with other people, so they get more diversity and more independence than from a single vendor.

Open source is known for having a "mission" rather than "market" objective. This made it focus on user needs and improvement. Its open architecture allows greater opportunities for information exchange with less to no help from vendors.


Open source has or can have an important role to play but will never, as long as the world's economy is dominated by market processes of commercial entities. Open source can't have a significant role in the areas that are central to the unique characteristics of commercial organizations. And with community supporting it, open source less preferably used if a business is trying to differentiate itself from another or gain a strategic competitive advantage in it's market area.

Open source has caused problems with commercial companies, Microsoft against Linux for example, and IIS against Apache. But as long as developers and businesses need an alternative for better flexibility, more agile, less risky and less pricey solution, open source will always exist, thrive and compete with its counterpart: closed source. Therefore, open source theoretically threatens the entire software industry.

Generally, developing a new high quality project is expensive. If a project can start small and grow over time, the open source model will work well. But when a product is needed quickly with a very high level of functionality from day one, open source might see its limit, except where a solution exists to address the potential problems.

Being open sourced means that its not commercially supported. Dedicated programmers may contribute large amounts of time to an open source project, but there aren't many of them that put significant amount of money to its development, let alone giving money away. On the other hand, software companies that create closed source, invest its money for development from day one, making it a lot more powerful at the very beginning.

By adopting open source, end users may need more professional help for guidance on licensing issues and the preparations because it's usually not straight forward. Open source software usually have higher learning curve so end users may also need training materials appropriate for the particular application of the solution.

Some people say that open source is less reliable because due to the fact that there is little money put into development, and anyone can view, edit, and redistribute. There is often no qualified support available, the only support, is usually via forums and other users. There is also no guarantee of regular updates, so your software can easily become outdated very quickly if the community is not active. And because some open source software are not are compatible to some hardware; users may have to rely on third-party drivers. Users need to know each and every requirements before using any open source software.