Way back in 1998, a group of software developers in Silicon Valley emerged who believed that software should be socially owned and not proprietary. They started the open software community and they raged against big tech companies like Microsoft, IBM, etc. to keep open source open, and usable.
But as technology evolved, it became clear that there was value for tech companies and the open source community found itself right in the middle of corporate America, slightly left of center from its original intent.
At the Open Source Summit, September 11–17, 2017 in Los Angeles, Christine Corbett Moran, Ph.D., NSF astronomy, and astrophysics postdoctoral fellow at California Institute of Technology said she believes that big corporations will both take from and feed the open source community.
According to an article in Silicon Angle, Corbett Moran stated that often companies put the finishing touches on a product to take it to the level that people can engage with it quickly.
“This is because a corporation is very incentivized monetarily to do that, whereas the open-source community isn’t necessarily incentivized to do that,” said Corbett Moran.
Today, you see big tech companies leading the open source movement. It has become the standard rather than the exception.
According to Red Hat, they believe that open source provides value across the entire organization. The company has said that the value proposition for open source software can be attributed to three groups in an organization from the technical buyer to the business and economic buyers.
Developers who code in open sources like Docker or Linux are now a part of the approved and sanctioned ecosystem in a company. Open source is used in the production of technology and products and services that drive a company’s bottom line and developers who were on the outside are now right in the middle of it all.
What’s driven this open source adoption from the corners to the heart of corporate IT is speed, not cost. Open source is freely contributed code which leads to agile development and being agile gets a product developed and into the market faster.
A whole new generation of developers are coming into the new world order of open source who aren’t part of that old legacy software machine. They are millennials who don’t have the patience for the minutiae of networking and infrastructure.
According to John Furrier, co-host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile live streaming studio, this generation loves serverless, and they want true programmable infrastructure.
So with all this happy-feel-good new outlook on open source, why is open source software so darn good for businesses?
Here are a reasons why open source is a good thing for your business.
Security. In the proprietary world, it can take weeks if not months to patch vulnerabilities; open source reduces that process to days.
Quality. In the age of crowdsourcing for the win, the odds are it’s better to have software created by thousands of developers over a handful. Open source gets closer to what users want because they’re also the ones making it.
Customize. Since the source code is open, companies can take a piece of code and modify it to suit their needs.
Freedom. No one wants to be locked in and by using open source, and open source developers outside of their organization, they are not tied to any vendor or proprietary packages.
Flexible terms. Open source is less resource intensive. You decide when you upgrade both your software and your hardware.
Interoperability. Think agnostic and not a walled garden. Open source works with just about everything.
Support and self-regulation. On the whole, open source software is free. Each community has documentation, mailing lists, wikis and in some places, even live support chat. A world to itself. Docker along has more than 450 million people who have downloaded their open source software. Better yet, Docker certified consultants, who are already skilled in emerging technology could step in offer extra assurance for corporates as outsourced specialists.
Test drive. You can test drive open source before you even spend a dollar.