What this post is about
- There are many reasons to appreciate open-source software, such as usability and flexibility
- External input and the knowledge of the community provide valuable ideas – however, you need strict regulations and clear documentation for it to work
- Enjoy the freedom of running updates and implementing changes whenever it fits your routine
- Open-source software is usually much more economically priced – or even free
Open Source rocks! IT specialists love using Open Source (OS) as an important tool for building up companies. They value the wide range of applications and the possibilities for further development of free source code. If you compare the pros and cons of OS software development, you will quickly realize that the decision for an individual open-source solution pays off in the long run.
Implementing a new software initially includes a lot of requirements - often a complicated installation, the development of compatible interfaces in existing systems, and the learning of new usability, which requires a detailed manual. Looking at ready-made license programs, compatibility between existing and new components can hardly ever be guaranteed. Hence, frustration ensues.
In contrast, open-source programs are also created for inexperienced users and beginners. Setting up a program instance on your own servers gives you better usability, which leaves the necessary freedom to IT strategists. As open-source software is usually optimized for different operating systems there are little or even no restrictions when it comes to development.
The faster a company grows, the more complex the requirements become. New features and updates need a constant exchange between developers. The result is often last-minute corrections or spontaneous adjustments. (We’ve all been there…) When using closed software and service support by the manufacturer, short-term interventions are impossible.
Thanks to open-source tools, the infrastructure can be optimized whenever you want. Meanwhile, the documentation remains transparent, so you can act quickly and securely: access rights lie solely with the company. The danger of unauthorized code changes by third parties is reduced to a minimum.
IT is a costly budget factor for companies. Software products contribute significantly to this with high license and service costs. Solve this problem with the choice of an open-source program! The monthly cost is more variable and can be adapted flexibly to the economic situation of the company.
However, keep in mind that the choice of an OS program does not eliminate the costs involved. Expenses for maintenance work and server landscapes remain within the budget plan but can be priced more variably.
Economic efficiency is based on flexible action. What is merely a dream today may be an indispensable tool in the IT structure of tomorrow. Closed software can’t adapt to short-term change. In an open environment, test runs and test coding can provide innovations that don’t have to be coordinated with providers.
On the other hand, input from freelancers and external parties brings new ideas. The free thought supports the code and not the financial factors. Thus, agile working allows you to adapt the code flexibly to changing long-term needs and individual benefits.
It takes a village to raise a code… isn’t that what they say? External freelancers and internal experts who work together in open-source projects form the basis for an extensive pool of knowledge. Use your freedom and their insights to examine security concepts from different angles. The influence of cross-industry experience often leads to a very strong product.
The help and support from the community or employees also require a lot of discipline in communication. Any further development of the code influences the previously created rules and can even invalidate them. A chain reaction with negative consequences, which in the worst case can lead to inactivity of the program. Strict agreements and documentation are essential to avoid such errors - and they make it more difficult to work on OS projects.
The advantages of using open source are obvious: extensive knowledge, internal control, simple usability, and access to innovative ideas. Those who are disciplined and communicate well avoid the risk of errors. OS projects such as Zammad are proof that experimenting in open code creates products that can be perfectly adapted to individual needs.