Open source software can be as easy as downloading one software package, installing it, and using it on a single workstation, or as complex as implementing a Linux server cluster to do complex computing. Enterprises can reduce their IT expenditure significantly by using open source software. The following section shows the different ways.
- Total cost of ownership: The most obvious advantage of OSS over proprietary solutions in terms of costs are in the software acquisition costs, maintenance costs, and upgrade costs. OSS is mostly freely available, has no license fees or annual maintenance fees and upgrades are also free.
- Implementation Cost: For some software, implementation is quite easy, and will take a staff person 10-30 minutes to install. More complex applications (financial, client management packages, etc.) take days of staff and/or consultant time to implement.
- Hardware Cost: With the help of Open source Software like Linux , you can save Hardware Cost significantly. As per the recent study, servers based on Linux (as opposed to Microsoft Windows) can handle more traffic, more accounts and do more processing given the same hardware.
- Software Acquisition Cost: Literally all open source software is available for no acquisition cost whatsoever, and no multiple licenses are needed.
- Administrative help and Support: In the proprietary world, the customers buy products and then, hundreds of thousands of dollars, are spent to provide support. In open source, they only engage support (through a paid contract) when they know the software is a good fit and they’re ready to engage the company for advanced features, solution of complex problems, etc. It’s much better for the customer.
- Strategic value: The main strategic point of OSS is to modify the code in software. Control is the next important consideration for open source software. With OSS, if the original developer disappears the product can survive because it is supported by its community of users and other developers.
- Community and Ownership: Community ownership is the an interesting aspect of OSS. A single developer can start an OSS , own it and determine the direction of development, choose feature sets etc. However, since the code is accessible and modifiable, anyone can grab the code and take it in a different direction.
- The most popular web has always been OSS as per Netcraft’s statistics on Web Server. As per the study, Apache had 58.86% of the market, while Microsoft had 31.13%.