IT systems can often represent a material element of a business’s overhead budget. It is essential during tough economic times to keep costs under control. One solution that deserves further investigation is the use of open source software.
Open source solutions for server operating systems and desktop applications could save thousands of pounds per year in licensing costs. Free server operating systems such as the Cent OS Linux platform can potentially dispense with costly and confusing licensing systems completely and can, even on older hardware, run more efficiently than their Microsoft alternatives.
Free software movement
Open source software is nothing new. In fact, the “free software” movement was originally founded in 1983. It wasn’t until 1998 that the term “free software” became referred to as “open-source” software (OSS).
For the majority of businesses there are a number of free alternatives on offer for most day to day applications. For example, replacing Microsoft’s Office Suite with Open Office, a free offering from Apache. With over 100,000 downloads per day, you can rest assured your business will not be on its own!
So what exactly is open-source software?
Wikipedia defines it as “computer software with its source code made available and licensed with an open-source license in which the copyright holder provides the rights to study change and distribute the software for free to anyone and for any purpose. Open-source software tends to be developed in a public, collaborative manner. Open-source software is the most prominent example of open-source development. It is often compared to (technically defined) user-generated content or (legally defined) open-content movements.”
You can read more here.
Educational establishments are increasingly moving to OSS to cut costs in their IT systems. For a great article on the Guardian website entitled “Technology in schools: saving money with cloud, open source and consortia” click here.
In conclusion, there are potentially many advantages and disadvantages to businesses of using open source software. It is important to fully explore the options available in further detail before a decision is made.
Need some help with that? Why not call Bean IT today on 01827 68613 to determine whether switching to open-source solutions could be advantageous to your business.