As businesses rely on computers and servers for more and more tasks, the importance of IT management software becomes even more clear. However, there are countless options to choose from, and businesses need to determine what type of software is right for them. Here are a few of the advantages offered by open source management software.
“Many Eyes” Security Paradigm
Linux and other open source software have become popular among security experts, and part of the reason is that all of the code is available for anyone to research. While no software is completely safe, popular open source software is effectively audited by experts and organizations to find and patch potential security issues. The downside is there are many open source software that are simply not audited by experts. If you plan to integrate open source software into your business, it can be dangerous as code that may contain security holes is available to the public.
Business managers often believe open source software is inherently cheaper than proprietary options, although the cost of paid support means that this isn’t always the case. Fortunately, licensing for open source software is often easier to manage. If your business grows and you need more support, it’s typically easier to scale up with open source providers.
Open Source Integration
Open source management software can sometimes be designed to work with other open source projects. However, bugs are a common occurrence especially if the project is not well known. While paid management software does not offer as large a variety of add-on as open source, they are likely to be bug free and you can expect them to have continuous support.
Both software companies and open source projects have a life span. It is not uncommon for a software company to go out of business, especially if it is a start up. It is even more common for a open source project to simply die due to a lack of interest. The difference is in the cost. If a open source project you depend on dies out, you can hire a professional to work on it in-house. This will cost a significant amount of money. On the other hand, if a proprietary software company goes out of business, it is possible that they may be bought out or allow you to continue licensing your product until you find a replacement.
Open source software attracts companies looking to add functionality to it, and contributing these additions to the code base means the community will support it. Even if your company doesn’t want to add new features to the software, the additions others add can lead to better software over time.
Finding the right IT management software for your business is a major task, and it’s important to explore all options. While there are great proprietary and open source options, it’s important to consider the advantages of both types. Open source software will likely cost a significant amount to get it set-up for use in-house but allows for greater freedom in customization. On the other hand, proprietary software is a fraction of the cost, usually comes with functional add-ons, and provides support.