07 Apr Saving Money with Open Source Software: The Pros, Cons, and the Middle Ground
One resource that many people are turning to now for customizable software solutions is open source software. Open Source is a software initiative in which the source code of software is made available to developers to freely work with and customize and is a good place to begin when looking for a platform upon which to build a customized piece of software.
This is cheaper for businesses, because they don’t have to pay to reinvent the entire wheel, just to make it work for their particular vehicle. However, customizing open source software requires a good deal of advanced programming and technical skill to get the product functioning in a customized manner.
Because developers throughout the years have tweaked and altered open source code to create different “customized” versions of software, it can be tempting to try and save a buck by using this “free” software and trying to make it work for your company.
However, keep in mind that you get what you pay for. The important thing to remember with open source software that people often overlook when obtaining and installing open source software themselves to try and save money, is the fact that there is no support team to handle inquiries.
If you want answers about why a particular piece isn’t functioning correctly or how to make the application react the way you envision, you probably won’t have access to the developer. Chances are you will have to find responses on support forums that answer the question of others who have posted problems similar to yours or pose a new question and wait for a response.
On the other hand, if you work with a custom software development company to mold the open source code into a software solution that perfectly suits your needs, you have more options. If you choose a company that offers support, maintenance, and a service guarantee, you won’t find yourself stuck with broken software or trying to figure out how to make these hundreds of lines of ‘free’ code to work for you.
Open source is a fantastic movement—but if you need customization or a support team, it’s essential to go through a custom software development company.