Here we are with summer coming to an end, the kids going back to school, and lots of software projects yet to complete before year end. What are the options we have for our development projects? Should we buy commercially packaged software, have our own people create what we need, outsource the development, etc? Don’t forget to include “use open source code” on your short list of viable options!
Those of you who have used open source know that it can speed up project completion, help avoid vendor lock-in, lower your risk, and lower the life cycle cost of your business applications. Those of you who have not yet tried open source are missing out on these benefits. Open source software is produced and maintained by some of the brightest minds and most dedicated people you will ever find. They do it because it is their passion, and they take personal pride in delivering some of the highest quality software available. Is it really free? Yes, you can download the software and documentation and use it for no charge. Are there hidden costs? Well there are costs, but not hidden. Someone on your team will need to take ownership of the correct use of open source code. Does this mean they need to be a full time expert? No. If you do pay them to learn and become an expert, or if you hire a seasoned full time expert, then yes, this will cost something and it can be substantial.
You have a third choice. What we hear from our customers is that buying commercial support directly from the open source committers to supplement limited in-house knowledge is far and away the most cost effective choice. You probably want your in-house software engineering staff to focus on work that gives you a unique and direct competitive advantage for your business. You also probably want to take full advantage of the open source code features and best practices for security, performance, and scalability. Our open source committers have helped thousands of customers meet their project goals on time and within budget. Contact us today and let us help you compare costs and explore how to get started with using open source code.