Enterprises are fast moving towards open source which leads to faster innovation, increased agility, cost savings, enhanced code quality, faster time-to-market, and improved developer retention. As per a research by Gartner, 95% of mainstream organizations leverage open-source assets within their mission-critical IT portfolios. Open Source adoption is definitely the mainstream for some time, but that’s not a new thing; rather IT firms have been using them since 1990. When open source emerged, the primary purpose for adopting it was reducing the total cost of ownership. However, today it competes with proprietary software on innovation, features, quality, and security. So, next-generation companies are using open source software to drive competitive advantage. But if you are still wondering why a company not in the business of software development might more enthusiastically embrace an open source program office, then look at a few potential reasons and then tackle each.
Earlier companies that were not specialized in selling software products were unable to influence the development cycles of their software vendors directly. However, open source completely changed the dynamic, and now, IT managers are able to push technology into a chosen direction. With rapidly growing companies, providing leadership in existing open source projects still proved insufficient. Thus, many of them have built highly customized stacks of software for internal use, which spawned entire ecosystems of developers, related projects, and end users that serve to accelerate growth and development. Without such initiatives, each of the engineers would be trying to solve their problems individually.
Going hand in hand with technology is one of the most important benefits of using open source atmosphere. Although the term marketing has gained a bad reputation in the corporate world, in case of an open source office, it takes on a different approach. For example- Google’s open source program office didn’t contribute to the Linus Kernel and other projects; rather, it talked about it in keynotes at open source conferences. As a result, Google flourished major influence during the creation of the GPLv3 license.
Improve internal processes
Having an open source environment at office saves the chances of chaotic internal processes. But a software vendor must assure that their processes don’t step on products they release. After all, a user is more concerned with infringement of intellectual property law. Large companies might face great difficulties in arriving at a consensus if they fail to achieve an active, open source program office to manage and coordinate licensing. If you are wondering why it is so important, then the answer is simple- if diverse teams release software under incompatible licenses, it will prove to be a significant obstacle to achieving improved collaboration.
Open source software tends to be less prone to bugs and can be fixed quickly. Let’s understand it by taking the example of the Linux Kernel. Although Android may not be fully open source, they are still a perfect example of Linus Law. What that means is that if more people can see and test a set of code, the more likely any bug can be caught and fixed. This law is the polar opposite to the “security through obscurity” argument that has been used so far.
Apart from all the above-mentioned benefits, being a software package created by thousands of developers around the world, open-source software are far better in quality than those developed by a handful of developers. As there are countless brains working to improve the security of open source software, they are bound to have many innovative new features.