After years in which Open Source has found difficulty to spread, partly due to skepticism and to the poor structure of the offer itself, we can now say that this model has finally reached a maturity such that it’s starting to be employed by companies more and more frequently, with satisfactory results.

“As many as 73% of companies use Open Source software, while 85% are familiar with Open Source solutions and know other companies that have adopted them. Open source solutions are increasingly used to drive the innovation process of core operations and their adoption in mission-critical processes is now prevalent.” This is what confirms the Nextvalue report on the Italian situation, a situation not so far from the international context.

open source

 

Hovewer, part of the business managers is still reluctant: why? According to the recent studies, “companies often struggle for finding prepared staff for the management of Open Source projects, think for example to Java expert programmers. This tendency is often accompanied by the misunderstanding that Open Source solutions are not assisted, i.e. provided without any advice, training, assistance and support.” But is this statement really founded?

Open Source platform means more experts, fewer mistakes

Open Source was born with the idea of developing an open software thanks to the collaboration of several IT experts to modify and design an advanced and cutting edge solution starting only from the foundations, i.e. from the source code.

“Give enough eyeballs, all the bugs are shallow” Eric S. Raymond

The sentence above, belonging to one of the most influential IT specialists, contains the meaning of the open model and the community, that is the basis. It means that for each platform there is a community of IT specialists who contributes to the development of projects and solutions from the source code. This means precisely that writing errors are much more easily identifiable and therefore quickly resolvable

According to supporters of Open Source Software, an element that plays in favour of the open source quality consists in the developers strong motivations and in users, who freely choose to partecipate in the correction of errors.

Open Source community stands for quality and innovation

In most cases, open source software is free software, a concept that perhaps makes it more clear the essence. This model is born to be enjoyed openly. The community itself is born as a spontaneous act, without any kind of constraint, for sharing the knowledge and experience of each developer. There is therefore the possibility that a programmer can suspend the project he was following at any time to help develop others.

When we talk about hesitancy towards the open world we refer more to the reliability of the same community. What we commonly think is that for the same concept according to which the open source community is born to be collaborative and open, in the sense that anyone – with appropriate skills – can partecipate and take action, anyone can even decide to stop suddenly and engage in another projects. At this point we think of a total stoppage of the project, resulting in waste of time and money.

“This panel questioned seems to tell us “more services”, a request that the providers in this area should certainly consider, both in the definition of their Open Source portfolio, and in the planning and execution of their strategy of go-to-market. It’s not by chance that not only the main Open Source technology providers, such as Red Hat, have a business model focused on training and support services, but also many of the main international System integrators have extended their skills and their services portfolio to the new paradigm, creating in many cases specific practices to help their customers operate with an open architecture.”

Support: this is what companies that are approaching open source are asking for and the most important providers are already moving to this direction. In the specific case of Red Hat, the undisputed world leader in the supply of open source solutions for enterprises, the real strength lies in the active collaboration with companies that do not have sufficient IT resources to develop an open project.  Therefore, specially designed packages figures who requires assistance at 360 degrees.

This is also the case with Holon platform that cooperates with the vendor company which guarantees training and/or technical support in case it’s requested or when a project is suddenly interrupted.

Holon platform offers community documentations and tutorials, training programs, assistance and support and development thanks to a team of experts able to take charge of the management of the customer development project in the phases of activities analysis, implementation of the project, software application, post-delivery support.

For companies that need support, Holon’s team provides specific support through the enterprise support agreement. In this way you have the certainty of completing your project, without constraints.

Collaboration between community and provider? An added value

The secret lies in the collaboration not only between experienced developers but also between company and community, a relationship that can further improve the quality level of the final software. In fact, the presence of the supplier company is an added value, because it also means contributing the growth, maturity and succes of the open model. But above all it means greater reliability of the products, therefore fewer worries, more certainties and reassurance for the customers.

 

 

 

 

It is fundamental, if not essential, for companies to have innovative solutions that can automate and optimize all the activities’ management, so that to be able to answer to a need and/or to deliver services efficiently and in short times.

Companies are in a very fast-paced and competitive environment, where the only solution to keep up with today’s market is to employ software solutions that allows a general optimization starting with the basics, namely the single business departments.

But how to choose an innovative and intuitive software that could allow a real saving in time and money, a sales increase and other advantages?

We can say, in a way, that a big help arrives directly from the future: let’s go for open source! Let me clarify, Open Source doesn’t just mean low-cost – probably the most common feature for which it is used – but it also means quality, innovation and soundness, these are all characteristics able to make a software solution at cutting edge.

What I want to do today is to list a number of reasons and advantages to explain why open source will be the future of IT! Let’s start!

  • Low-cost: it’s obviously the first reason why companies rely on open source and it remains – economically speaking – an important advantage and a criterion to be taken into consideration, that’s why I think we should talk about this subject for first. Let’s start saying that open source doesn’t mean free, as many could think. What I mean is, cost are zero if a company has the sufficient resources to develop in detail a software solution starting from the source code; but if a company doesn’t have an IT department? A company can rely on vendor, it means cost will be not zero, however minimum. For example, Holon Platform allows to use its source code for free but our development team is able to undertake in order to to provide support. This represents a cost, but really minimum if compared to a developed software, ready to use

 

  • Community: an added value of open source is to be able to rely on specialists with technical expertise, that can help to develop a project or a program in an agile and innovative way. For the same concept according to which “many hand make light work”, community drives innovation and brings added value. Community is open source platforms backbone, because open source will be short-lived without collaboration and knowledge sharing. Open Source= Community!

 

  • Agility and flexibility: today the key element to be competitive is agility, the speed with which we are able to deliver a service or meet a specific need. Market travels at the speed of light, so who doesn’t keep up with, falls behind – without any possibility of repêchage . Hard, sad truth but still truth. The secret to be on the fast track is becoming agile, which are exactly the characteristic and value of open source platforms. Open source means agility because it allows to make changes quickly; so it means flexibility and integration thanks to the fact that it adapts easily to new needs but also to other software; therefore means modularity and extensibility because it is open to different needs of those who use it, allowing to use certain components rather than others. This is a precious value, for example, for small-medium sized companies that have a limited budget but an IT department with sufficient technical knowledge to use and to work with an open platform

 

  • No more lock-in: if once vendor lock-in was considered an advantage, because it meant to have as a guarantee support and solidity of a great producer, now it is seen as a disadvantage, not to say a “trap”. Nobody likes to have too “tight” constraints with vendors because it is synonymous with closure, no innovation and substantial costs, especially when a company decides to rely on other vendors or integrate its own software with other IT solutions. There is a good new: thanks to open source, this lock-in is no more binding, since there is more freedom of source code amendment and re-use and not many limitations – even if vendor is always there for support and advice (as in the case of Holon Platform)

 

  • Security: It still exists the idea that open source doesn’t give any IT safety guarantee: true or false? False! On the contrary, the fact that community users and the same producers can intervene means to rely on a safe, solid and quality product because it is revisited, corrected and “fixed” by IT specialists. This is confirmed by data: according to a “Future of Open Source” survey, 72% of respondents said to have chosen an open source platform for IT security reasons.

An open source platform is all this: flexibility, scalability and agility in responding to change and new needs. This last aspect is a fundamental value in today’s dynamics, don’t you think?

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