Role of Open Source in Digital Transformation of Enterprises
Free software that can do wonders for your business applications – who can say no to it? However, it is not just the obvious economic benefits of open source that make it so attractive to tech CEOs, IT enthusiasts, and even laymen. It is the rich features, appealing functionality, reliability, and security make it as good as, if not better than, proprietary software. Therefore, it is no surprise that since its inception, open source technology has made such a huge impact on the IT world that today, many consider it to be the guiding force behind digital transformation.
Take a look at the following statistics:
- Linux and related open source operating systems run on 65% of all servers in the world.
- A Black Duck survey finds that nearly 80% of companies run part or all of their operations in open source.
- 65% of companies leverage open source software to speed application development.
- 67% of companies encourage their developers to actively contribute to open source software.
Some of the most popularly used software are open source, such as Firefox, Android, Apache, MySQL, Open Office, and so many more. Its impact has been so relevant in recent years that most businesses specify the harnessing of appropriate open source software as an essential plan in their IT road-map. Here are a few ways open source software is driving the digital transformation that we see all around us today.
- Open Source reduces the total cost of ownership of an IT environment:
For any software to find widespread adoption, it has to possess the three mandatory characteristics – it has to be highly adaptable, affordable and scalable. The sheer affordability of open source cannot be argued with. Adaptability and scalability come from the fact that open source software is created by people for the people. It is primarily driven by sentiments based on making software available for all. Hence, a majority of the open source software adapts to commonly used platforms and browsers, and has high scalability to support a variety of operations. It displays amazing interoperability and easily fits into most modern IT environments. This reduces the total cost of ownership as there are negligible adjustments, if any, that a company has to make to start using the open source software effectively. Overall, open source has proved to be an ideal solution for meeting software requirements of a business in a cost-effective manner.
- Open Source supports in-house software development
From small technology start-ups to big digital companies, everyone is making good use of the huge choice of open source software available today, either directly for day-to-day operations, or, more commonly, to support their in-house IT development projects. Open source has set the stage for increased collaboration among developers across the world and made in-house software development a feasible option for many businesses. Open source does not come with a lock-in period which leaves technology companies free to experiment and innovate with the goal of creating software without the cost overhead that comes with proprietary software. It eliminates the need to account for licenses and cuts down administrative costs, leaving IT management with more fund for software development. 90% businesses admit that open source has been a true enabler of their IT operations with visible improvements in efficiency, interoperability, and innovation.
- Open Source is a constantly evolving realm
The open source microcosm has been seeing rapid changes. New products are constantly being developed and existing software is continuously enhanced by talented programmers from around the world. The Linux kernel started off with 10,000 lines of code in 1991 and today, it is 17 million and growing. Also, since the code is available in the public domain, it is inspected by a large number of developers, leading to quicker identification and fixing of issues. The software matures at a much faster rate compared to proprietary software and the world benefits from a product that is truly versatile and finds varied applications. Due to this aspect, open source is preferred by many over other licensed software of the same genre. In fact, some of the amazing products that we use every day like Google or Facebook have been built largely from open source software.
- Open Source is at the forefront of software development
The open source software is created by motivated and highly skilled software professionals, most of whom have rich IT experience. Hence, the software conforms to high levels of quality and coding standards. Due to its popularity and widespread adoption, open source software has redefined standards of software development across the world. And the fact that open source software is continuously being improved and perfected has led the IT sector to a whole new level of excellence where newly released products are expected to be innovative, robust, reliable, flexible, versatile, virtually bug-free, and affordable.
Open source software has become the pillar on which critical business operations like customer service, market fulfillment, rest. The growth in open source software can be understood from the fact that today there are more than 14 million users in GitHub and more than 35 million repositories. It can be safely concluded that open source is at the helm of digital transformation in the present day and in the future.
Do you make use of open source software at work? If so, would you agree that open source has made a big difference to how software is manufactured and distributed today? Share your thoughts.
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