Why Customizing Open-source Applications Is Good For Your Business
Cloud Web Development

Why Customizing Open-source Applications Is Good For Your Business

By Mainak Biswas February 17, 2016 - 2,077 views

Most business clients often overlook the appeal of open source software programs. In their minds, open source is tacky, free and not worth a second look unless a business is crumbling and cannot afford proprietary applications. This is very far from the truth. WordPress, one of the best content management systems in the world, is open source.

A number of other software programs that you probably believe are proprietary are also open source. CPython, for example, is open source too. What businesses do not realize is that open source platforms have unique advantages that are actually good for businesses. They come with a community support system that is not really possible in proprietary platforms.

Open source applications thus designed are actually more advanced than many private apps because developers from around the world put their heads together to create them. One of the major complaints that businesses have of open source platforms is that they are ‘common’. With a little customization, any open source software can be deemed good enough for corporate use, and that is a fact that is understood by a number of people.

Customizing helps more than you might imagine

While customization services do cost money, the versatility and cross-platform abilities of open source apps cannot be discounted. Even if we take the example of just WordPress, it is quite clear that themes do cost money. When we choose to customize the themes, they will cost a little more than that. In spite of all this, WordPress continues to be one of the most widely used content management systems around the world.

Obviously, there are certain advantages to using open source platforms. While we agree basic open source apps may not be great for businesses, customizing them and using them to your benefit will help you to achieve your business targets easily. All that is required is to find a good consultancy that has experience customizing open source software programs for their business clients.

In this article, let us take a look at why you should be customizing open source software applications and why it is good for your business.

More people than you can imagine currently use open source software programs

More than 86% of companies in non-technical sectors use some level of open source software within their IT departments. This is because, open source apps reduce supplier risks. They are also more innovative in nature thanks to the community spirit that drives open source platforms. However, because open source is available to everyone, your competitors maybe looking at the same software program too, much to your discontent.

In order to ensure that you have an obvious advantage over your competitors, you can choose to customize your open source apps. Customizing not only involves changing the look and feel of the software but also certain functionalities. After all, it is important to understand that open source programs come with common codes but these codes can be customized to suit your unique requirements.

Some of the obvious advantages of customizing open source programs are as follows:

1.      Cost-effective

While customizing does cost money, we must remember that it will still cost a lot cheaper than what it probably would if you choose to buy proprietary software solutions. Open source applications that are customized for your business will stand apart from that of your competitors and will also work out financially if you are struggling as a company. Moreover, cost benefits are higher in open source models as you not only save money on initial investments but also end up spending less on maintenance. A number of custom solutions allow you to seek third-party assistance from the open source community once the initial customizations are done.

2.      Access to open source community

The open source community is large and vibrant and gathers professionals from all walks of life from across the world. This means, your app might have a bit of goodness from every tech culture possible in the world. Once you have an application built on an open source platform, you will also find it easier to approach any freelancer who works on these platforms in open source communities. It just makes things easier for you as a business owner. You will not have to depend on customer service provided by proprietary software platform vendors. That is a big benefit you might want to look at.

3.      Freedom from proprietary software solutions

Proprietary software solutions seem attractive and may include customizations and after sales support. Yet, if you want to switch to a different platform, you will end up losing a lot of money that you initially would have invested. These solutions may not be compatible with other software solutions and you might need additional coding or development to make them compatible. It should also be mentioned that proprietary software solutions come with license agreements that will restrain you from making changes, in most cases, to the original software program. If you are looking for freedom, open source solutions are the way to go forward.

4.      Enhanced security

It is a misconception that open source solutions do not offer the same kind of security that proprietary software platforms do. On the other hand, hundreds and thousands of developers work on these open source platforms and when there are security glitches, they immediately come to their notice. Regular patches that are released will help you to avoid security glitches that may arise in the future. You can also choose to encrypt your data at an additional cost as part of the customizations that you request from your vendor. All in all, open source software programs do not pose any security threats to your data.

Prospects of using open source programs in future

Certainly, as awareness increases, more people will begin to choose open source platforms to build their applications. All it probably requires is some customization work which can easily be done by professionals at a cost that is less than purchasing proprietary software programs. Moreover, using open source software programs comes with its own benefits as discussed above. If you are still confused about choosing an open source platform, do speak to one of our professionals and we will gladly clear your questions.

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