Benefits of Open Source in Times of Uncertainty
Amanda Cunningham is an enthusiastic and driven digital media authority with a diverse background working on digital teams within agency, education, technology, recreation, and hotels. Amanda graduated with honors from McDaniel College with a Bachelor of Arts in History. In her free time, Amanda can be found spending time with family and friends, practicing her guitar skills, or reading a book on the couch with her three kitties.
Times of economic uncertainty such as recessions tend to spark periods of innovation. After the initial feelings of doubt and fear have left, then what remains are bouts of creativity, especially in the area of software development.
During the recession of 2008, Linux software company Red Hat thrived. While many other companies floundered, Red Hat was able to flourish as a result of their open source technology. They were able to post profitable quarters on the way to becoming a multi-billion dollar company a few years later as the economy recovered.
When many developers found themselves out of work, they began to contribute to the open source project that was Red Hat. This allowed them to become part of the community of developers, eventually becoming experts as times improved.
Open source software can sometimes be challenging to manage if the company responsible for overseeing the project isn’t sufficiently experienced. However, open source projects can also provide enormous benefits for businesses that choose to rely on the software during these times.
Let’s take a look at what open source software is, and why decision-makers should consider open source software to satisfy their business needs.
What Is Open Source Technology?
Open source software generally means that the underlying source code is made publicly available and can be viewed and modified by anyone that wishes.
Unlike proprietary software, open source can be modified by anyone outside the organization that created it. Open source software also doesn’t have the same licensing fees and distribution restrictions as proprietary software. In many cases, developers can take that code and modify it to suit their needs on a smaller scale, but for larger organizations that isn’t always the case. To meet the needs of some organizations that want certified releases and support options, open source vendors provide this for a fee.
Releasing software as open source lets users focus on the practical uses of the software as it relates to solving business problems, without having to worry about issues like vendor lock-in or renewing licenses. Some of the best examples of open source software can be found in the tools that users and businesses use today. Web browsers like Mozilla Firefox, web servers like Apache, and programming languages like Python are examples of popular open source projects.
All in all, open source software unlocks the potential for innovation and growth across several industries as well as a host of other benefits.
Benefits Beyond Modification
The ability for source code to be modified by users is an excellent benefit to the broader software community, but open source software has other benefits as well.
Since businesses don’t need to pay expensive licensing and maintenance fees, then open source software will be less costly than other alternatives.
Also, open source software doesn’t require the same hardware costs to run. Sometimes, businesses also get the added benefits of not having to host this software on-premise and can rely on the cloud instead, further reducing costs.
Avoid the SaaS Trap
Many SaaS vendors provide hosting services on their own servers that can be appealing to businesses. If the underlying software is open source, a SaaS offering provides huge benefits to you as a way to offload the operations and maintenance. However if its proprietary, this can lead to unexpected drawbacks down the road including lack of control.
Unless the underlying software is open source, your brand, assets and other business infrastructure are heavily intertwined with this SaaS vendor.
Sometimes, a vendor may choose to do something like raise their prices or worse yet, suddenly go out of business. If their software isn’t backed by open source licensing, your business could run into trouble and struggle to adjust as a result.
As your business grows, you will need to scale your infrastructure and other capabilities if you want to meet the demand. Open source software makes this easy as you can modify and alter the software to meet your own needs.
If the software doesn’t meet your demands, then it’s possible to use APIs and SDKs to build further solutions on top of the software you’re currently using.
While it may seem like making it open to everyone would decrease the security capabilities of the software, the opposite is true. With more support from a large community of developers and business users, open source software is constantly updated to remove bugs and add new features.
That community support system is a benefit all on it’s own. Along with added security, it means that your internal IT team can find it easier to solve any problems that arise while using the software.
Unlike the case with proprietary software, open source software makes it easier for you to leverage your own team’s skills to innovate and extend its capabilities. It also means that if your current team isn’t capable, then it’s easier to hire.
With a community of developers, most open source solutions allow you to call on a larger pool of candidates to meet your requirements. It also allows you to pivot to other open source solutions that can better serve your needs.
CrafterCMS: An Open Source CMS for All Your Content Needs
During times of uncertainty, one of the best ways that companies can help their audiences is by delivering relevant, educational and engaging content across all digital channels. To do this effectively requires a great content management system.
CrafterCMS is a headless CMS that empowers your entire organization. From your content editors to your developers and operations specialists; it helps them to create the digital content to meet the demands of your audience. Not to mention, CrafterCMS is fast, supports innovation, and it’s open source.
CrafterCMS is built on a philosophy of openness that extends beyond source code but is something woven throughout our entire business model. Openness, in our opinion, is crucial for success with web content and your whole digital experience stack over the long term. Here are a few ways we view openness:
We store content as XML, an open data format. This makes content completely accessible - nothing proprietary about it. Content can be easily exported to another repository at any time.
With our GraphQL and REST APIs, developers can easily connect to any other tools or processes your team requires, making it easy to innovate and extend functionality.
Your content needs to be flexible and versatile enough to reach your audience where they need it most. This means that it has to be delivered to a variety of different channels and services. With our headless CMS technology, we allow you to connect your content repository backend to several different front ends via APIs.
If one group of channels isn’t a fit for your audience, you will have no issues finding ones that work better and having your content displayed appropriately.
Your business has its own unique demands and will require something different compared to the next one. Our decoupled system gives you access to the best tools available. You can make adjustments, add any plug-ins you desire, allowing you to adapt and scale as you best see fit.
We said it’s not just about our source code, but our source code is crucial as well. It’s what makes open source software... open. As the needs of your website or overall digital experience continue to change, our openness allows you to call on a community of developers to help you improve and innovate.
Open source software gives you the adaptability and flexibility that proprietary software doesn’t offer. In times of uncertainty, this adaptability becomes even more important. If you’re looking for open source CMS that meets your business’ content needs during difficult times, then look no further than CrafterCMS.
You get to choose from several alternatives when deploying and operating CrafterCMS. You are free to download the open source version and deploy it on your own servers or on a public cloud, and leverage our community for support. You can purchase enterprise support and get our team of engineers backing you 9x5 or 24x7 (again, your choice). You can purchase our SaaS offering and get both enterprise support and offload the operations and maintenance, knowing you are not locked in because the underlying software is open source. With CrafterCMS, you have multiple alternatives to meet your particular needs.
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