Seventhman Blog

Debunking the Open-Source Myth

"open_source_myth"Plenty of myths have been born when it comes to the topic of open source software and applications, and one of the most common is that it’s Free.  There are believers and there are skeptics.  For those who believe in free licensing, it’s more than just a move for making things better.  And the other side of the story is, open source and enterprise aren’t really synonyms.  Perhaps, the word ‘free’ itself has been an over-hyped marketing term used to win customer loyalty, nothing more.

An Open Invitation to Brand Recognition

On the contrary, quality and support levels for open source applications are not really substandard, as many might have believed.  There are open source projects fueled by community discussions for further improvement and as such, the level of quality given can mean on-the-spot customer satisfaction for brand recognition.  To make it simpler, the more bugs you fix quickly, the more likely your customers will stick to the super glue of your brand.

Open Source: The Amateur’s Cove?

Just because programmers are collaborating to work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week from scratch to build an open source app doesn’t mean it’s a hobbyist thing.  Did you know that a Gartner study has predicted that 99% of Global 2000 enterprises will include open source software in their portfolios by 2016?  That’s up by 75% in 2010.  Before you even think that big companies are not into the open source thing, just take a stab at big names like Google, Facebook or Amazon who are taking advantage of this platform for their IT needs.  Definitely, it’s not a noob’s thing!

Expanding Your Market More than the Freebie Concept

There are many reasons why open source software projects are booming and these can be free licenses, freedom to own and change the code, continuous improvement, code stability, and the ability to ask your community for help.  There are downsides as well and just because something is free doesn’t mean it has zero cost.  Also, maintaining the quality of your code is a top priority.. but that doesn’t have to stunt your project.  Keep in mind that at the end of the day, there’s always a huge difference between good and great, so you need to have experts on your side – no exceptions.  Size doesn’t matter these days; speed does.  When your community takes time to answer queries you’ve got for your open source project, a team of in-house or 3rd party experts who are ready to handle that issue won’t threaten the success rate of your work.

That’s when you get the chance to shine above the rest.  So, if you think that there’s no money to be made in open source software, think of IBM who have grown their open source products.  They’re not in a danger of going out of business anytime soon.   Quite the opposite though, as Fortune 500 companies are embracing their Linux technology for mission-critical applications.. because it’s more stable.

The only question left now is: How open are you to change?