The benefits of open source software are, by this point, impossible to deny. These solutions have the potential to offer superior security, flexibility and cost-efficiency to businesses in a wide range of capacities. The growing popularity and use of open source makes these offerings increasingly applicable for firms of all sizes.
That's not all. As The Server Side recently highlighted, companies are now turning to open source as an effective safeguard against the risk of proprietary software collapsing due to the failure of the parent company. Combining these offerings with commercial-grade open source support adds life to what would otherwise be outdated software.
As the news source pointed out, one of the great risks that companies face when selecting a new proprietary software for their operations is the possibility that the organization that developed that software will go under or be bought out by an industry competitor. If this happens, the company will no longer be able to provide application support for their software offering, essentially ending the utility of that program. Any companies that invested in and implemented those solutions would be in a very unfortunate place.
"Companies can get sold or decide to divest their interests in proprietary tools, leaving established organizations in the lurch," said Wayne Beaton, director of open source projects at The Eclipse Foundation, The Server Side reported.
This state of affairs can understandably discourage businesses from investing in software solutions that would otherwise prove very advantageous, thereby limiting their potential opportunities. Instead of embracing new, innovative possibilities, many companies must instead stick to the tried-and-true, as the risk is simply too great otherwise.
This also hurts the viability of companies, particularly smaller firms, that develop new software. After all, the frequency of companies failing to support their proprietary software long-term makes it more difficult for every firm to find willing customers.
Open source backup
However, as the news source pointed out, open source solutions provide a possible means of avoiding this unfortunate situation.
Beaton explained that software developers can leverage open source in their offerings in order to ensure that a given application will continue to receive support even if the company goes out of business or is bought out by a competitor.
"Being pushed into open source gives these companies a fighting chance to find people to support the tools chains they depend upon," Beaton said, The Server Side reported.
By doing so, the source noted, software development firms can provide a guarantee for their clients that the software will remain operational, so long as there is an open source community making use of the code. Additionally, commercial-grade open source support provides an “insurance policy” against technical issues that can impact development and production environments.
Open source all the way
For a software development firm to fully take advantage of this aspect of open source and thereby reduce its risk of being left unsupported, it needs to embrace the necessary open source tools and strategies. By making open source support a priority, firms can not only demonstrate the long-term viability of their software to customers, they can also take full advantage of open source technology’s benefits to create new value.