Why use Open Source software?

Open source applications are available for every common type of enterprise software -- from network monitoring and security software to application servers, databases, web servers, web browsers, graphics, DTP and office applications. Of course, in all these categories, commercial software alternatives also exist. So why choose open source?

First, companies find that they consistently get great value -- and the desired ROI -- from open source software. The quality of open source software met or exceeded the expectations of 92 percent of respondents to a recent survey conducted by Forrester Research. Meanwhile, 87 percent of respondents said that open source software delivered the cost savings they were hoping for.

Second, acquisition cycles and associated entry costs are minimal for open source software -- at least for pilot projects and initial rollouts. Enterprises can use free versions of software to start a project without having to endure the protracted sales and acquisition cycles that often accompany pilot projects with commercial software. Also, there are plenty of companies like Transitiv Technologies that build value-added capabilities on top of this freely available code, enabling an easy path to deploy open source-based applications in production. This more economical acquisition and deployment model allows organizations to dedicate greater portions of their budgets to customisations and innovations that really matter.

Third, open source applications can be even more secure than their commercial equivalents. Open source communities fixed security vulnerabilities twice as quickly as commercial software vendors, according to a recent study by Veracode. Open source communities are remarkably agile. They've repeatedly shown they can do an excellent job discovering, analysing and patching security vulnerabilities. These community open source security practices are often backed by companies such as Transitiv that can provide support and consultancy which has had a dramatic effect on the rollout of open source applications in the enterprise.