Is Open Source the right approach for an enterprise? What makes Open Source unique and appropriate for a project? Various aspects, such as cost, flexibility, security, supportability, and stability, affect its long-term strategy. Let's explore why it makes sense to look beyond the high walls of propriety software and given open source a chance.
The tectonic plates keep shifting in the world of enterprise software. The inherent market dynamics and every changing landscape of user expectations drive enterprise behavior. You may be hard-pressed to find areas where Open Source doesn't have its imprints. Be it enterprise products in banking, finance, healthcare, presence in telecommunication systems, middleware, utility software, or even operating systems. All these areas and beyond have intimately woven Open Source into their core architecture.
The State of Enterprise Open Source Report 2020 from Red Hat describes that out of the industry leaders surveyed, 95% agreed that Open Source is essential, and 77% mentioned that open source adoption would increase in the next 12 months. Now Red Hat is the poster child of open source. We have similar reckonings almost everywhere else as well.
In their ninth annual Future of Open Source Survey, Black Duck Software state that open-source software is being used by more than 78% of all businesses surveyed.
There are some fundamental advantages of using Open Source over proprietary software. The following list a few of them.
As per the Future of Open Source Survey, the key sectors where Open Source will have a role to play in the next 2-3 years will be:
- Cloud Computing
- Big data and Analytics
- Operating systems
- Internet of Things
There are multifaceted benefits of Open Source. Apart from having a lower total cost of ownership, it also allows access to the latest innovations owing to its open community-based approach. Multiple eyes lead to higher quality software, which is inherently more secure. With changes like we see in Red Hat, enterprise-level support for Open Source is a reality for those who cared for this aspect. The most crucial element is the ability to customize applications at a faster clip and not wait for a vendor to release a specific feature you requested.
Open source holds the key to the future; the trends in mobile, cloud, big data, and web are now being built primarily on Open Source infrastructure. As per The State of Enterprise Open Source Report 2020 Proprietary software is quickly declining. The use of proprietary software is plummeting. The report states that 42% of the respondents indicated using proprietary software this year, down from 55% from last year's survey. So, there is a clear trend which is moving downwards for these proprietary software systems. They predict that proprietary software will be down to 32% of their software stacks two years from now! It's no surprise that proprietary software is being overlooked considering the high costs and vendor lock-ins. Community-based open source is not rising as rapidly as enterprise open source, but it's still moving upwards, and proprietary software is not.