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?