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10 Considerations When Using Open Source Technology


The global open source services market size is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 18.2% during the forecast period, to reach USD 50.0 billion by 2026 from USD 21.7 billion in 2021. 

What Are the Primary Drivers of This Fast Growth? 

The primary reasons are — low licensing costs, easy management, flexibility, reliability, and agility. This is why it’s now a rising trend among companies to adopt and use open source software. 

However, it's vital to have a strategy in place if you're thinking of selecting and implementing open source tech in your company. 

When it comes to using an open source platform, there exists a lot of moving components and things to think about. 

This article covers 10 of the most critical elements that may influence your decision-making process.

Top 10 Elements to consider when selecting and using an open source software (OSS)

When deciding which open source software you should use and how, you need some accepted standards. 

Let’s take a look at the some of the elements when selecting and using an OSS: 


1. The Business Model

Take a close look at your firm's operations and business model, present demands, and future ambitions before deciding where open source fits into your strategy. 

Determine what innovations are accessible, what the latest industry trends are, and what potential growth areas you should consider.

Evaluate what benefits open source could provide and how those advantages align with your corporate goals. The following are some of the most important upsides that open source would possibly provide:

  • Increasing the speed of development and the time it takes to get a product to the market

  • Lowering the overhead

  • Getting rid of redundancies

  • Increasing productivity

Inside the enterprise system, you must make a complete strategy to open source adoption, utilization and administration. This includes methods for modifying and licensing, as well as consideration of the company's appetite for ambiguity.

Do a thorough research of the market, analyze the leading vendors, pick a software that suits your business model, and implement it as part of your strategy. 

If you need help with your research, here’s a rundown of SEON's top tools to guide you through your decision-making process.


2.  Security

The availability of adequate security may be insignificant, vital, or something in between, based on how you intend to utilize the open source software's code. It's critical to understand your company's security needs and afterwards match them to whatever the solution or code offers.

How thoroughly the application has been proofed and tested against security threats is a security related aspect. 

Several defects and flaws that generate regular network security reports are available everywhere. These tools identify potential code bugs and notify them to the project's administrator.

It's crucial to observe whether you can quickly report defects, evaluate the security measures, and verify any notifications of risks while assessing a project site and its documentation. The release notes should have a list of concerns.


3.  Community Support While Developing Websites

Remember that one of open source's greatest possible benefits is its wide community of experienced users who contribute their knowledge and updates. 

As a result, one crucial factor to consider when evaluating an OSS is whether you'll get accessibility to a similar community. This is crucial especially when you use open source to develop a website. Members of the community are invited to share, pose questions, identify bugs, and contribute to the codebase's improvement. 

This also entails steady progress and what appears to be unending care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

If you're stuck and need help customizing a certain element of your site, there's a complete community behind you waiting to assist you.

In fact, while designing your brand’s website, you need to pick the right OSS when evaluating the best CMS (content management system).

The right choice with guidance from the right experts in web design can help you build a comprehensive site that’s responsive, flexible, and has full-fledged community support. 


4.  Fulfillment of Requirements

One of the most important factors to consider when selecting an OSS is whether it meets your software product development needs. 

There are many OSS out there with identical capabilities, but what sets it apart is the added features it offers. 

Most of the firms make the mistake of choosing an open source simply depending on the number of extra features it offers, and frequently, those extra functionalities do not even meet your needs. 

Having plugins that cater to the major chunk of your requirements is always a better option than having one that is popular and has hundreds of functions but does not meet your needs.


5.  Hidden Costs

As it is an implied benefit that open source is "free," it appeals to many people. 

Until you can calculate the possible expenses of open source, you must first evaluate the offering and the demands of the organization.

On the exterior, there seem to be gains right away because the license and code usage are free. Equipment, upkeep, assistance, and legal fees are all expenses, but they may be less costly than proprietary offerings.

Some networking overhead can be eliminated through cloud techniques and the usage of open source platforms. Though there are costs connected with using these products in terms of design and delivery, they should be much less costly as compared using in-house technology.


6.  Support

Always consider the assistance provided by an OSS before making a decision. A software that comes with high-quality assistance is indeed preferable. Constantly check to see if the OSS you've chosen has a strong community behind it. 

Check for active groups or forums where users can ask questions about setup or even other bugs. Great community support will assist you in resolving any problems that may arise in the future.

Paid assistance is sometimes available. The availability of third-party paid assistance is one of the characteristics of high-quality software. When you're stuck on something critical, this will come in handy. 

Choosing an OSS with both paid and community assistance is always a good idea.


7.  Proper Documentation

The documentation for popular and high-quality open source solutions is always excellent. This can be a good measure of the community's quality and support. There are two sorts of documentation in general.

One would be the software's User Documentation, that explains how to utilize the system in general. In some cases, the user documentation has several levels that correlate to multiple levels of users and rights. 

For example, different documentation may exist for administrators in programmers having administrator roles. Our requirements should be met by the documentation accessible.

The Developer Documentation, on the other hand, explains how to add or alter code. If we plan to update our code in the future, this documentation will be really useful.


8.  Thorough Audits

Due to the obvious possibility of operational security risk, many firms are hesitant to employ open source technology. Regular and thorough code audits might help to mitigate such hazards.

Audits of open source code reveal any potential security or infringement issues. Not only does a company need policies for selecting the software, vetting, and evaluation, but it also needs to show that it understands the potential inter - dependencies that come with exact usage and rollout inside a bigger structure.

As evidence of right oversight, auditors often search for much more than a basic spreadsheet. A corporation must show that it has trained its employees on the right practices to adopt prior to using just a single line of an OSS code to pass an audit.


9.  Reliability and Rapport

The key feature that an OSS should possess is reliability. 

Half the work is complete if any product is created on a dependable OSS, and any further difficulties that arise may be controlled or addressed with ease.

With so many OSS options available, it's crucial to think about the software's reputation. 

With regard to OSS, word of mouth reputation goes a long way. 

Another consideration is to compare a top-rated OSS with its proprietary competitors.


10.  Version

Examine the OSS version to discover how active and frequent the updates are. 

Check out the most recent and present version whether flaws are actively resolved, updates are performed on a regular basis, and so on. 

As the code is freely available, you have the flexibility to address any flaws ourselves with OSS. Also, when it comes to OSS, we must remember that version numbers have little relevance. 

A version 1.0 does not always imply that it is ready for production use. However, it is possible that it will be used in a production environment. 

As a result, determining the correct version just via reading and study aids in determining the most recent and updated version.


The above-mentioned considerations are the important factors you need to consider before deciding on the best open source tech for your organization. 

Much may be accomplished once this step is completed and you can go on to the next stage of your product design.


Author Bio

Atreyee Chowdhury

Atreyee Chowdhury works full-time as a Content Manager with a Fortune 1 retail giant. She is passionate about writing and helped many small and medium-scale businesses achieve their content marketing goals with her carefully crafted and compelling content. She loves to read, travel, and experiment with different cuisines in her free time. You can follow her on LinkedIn.

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