Once seen as flaky, cheap and the work of amateur developers, open source has emerged blinking into the daylight. With unrestricted access to the source code to run or modify at will, and support coming from an ad hoc collection of software developers and fellow users, the open-source model is very different from proprietary software. But it is nevertheless proving attractive enough for a host of CIOs to make the switch. So who’s using open source? Why are they using it? And are the benefits worth the risks? The answers are surprising – and dispel some of the myths surrounding open source.
- The attraction is the price tag
- The savings aren’t real
- There’s no support
- It’s a legal minefield
- Open source isn’t for mission-critical applications
- Open source isn’t ready for the desktop
Companies with an external focus, he says, which are used to working collaboratively with other organizations, and perhaps are already using collaborative technologies, stand to gain much more from open source than companies with an internal focus, which see the technology in terms of cost savings.