Open source is finally coming into its own, and more business applications are now running on Linux.
That’s according to Yossi Hasson, CEO of Synaq, who attributes the growth in acceptance of Open Source software to several factors ranging from flexibility and security to lower cost of ownership.
“When a business wants to use a specific application to differentiate itself and gain a competitive edge, open source is the way to go. Because the business has access to the source code of the software, as well as less restrictive license terms, customisation is easier and less expensive than is the case with proprietary software,” he says.
In addition, Open Source software generally costs less to acquire than its proprietary counterpart. However the savings don’t stop there.
“Synaq’s experience is that upgrade/maintenance costs are also typically far less. Add to this the fact that it is usually possible to run Open Source software more efficiently on older hardware. This translates into smaller hardware costs and potentially, removing the need for new hardware,” he says.
A recent report by Forrester Research stated that the average TCO savings with open source were around 50%, and in some cases up to 60%.
Hasson acknowledges that these cost savings would not be worth much if open source was inherently less stable and secure than proprietary software. The reality, however, is that there is quantitative data that confirms the greater reliability of open source programs over proprietary programs; and performance tests show that on equivalent hardware, open source often beats the competition.
Finally, he says, there’s the issue of security. Questions are often raised about the security of open source software because of the ready availability of its source code.
“The facts, however, prove the opposite. The very openness of the source code actually increases its security. This helps to explain why Windows sites are defaced disproportionately more often than can attributed to its larger market share and why 80% of all spam is sent by infected Windows PCs.
“It’s therefore not surprising that more insurance companies are starting to charge clients more for hacker insurance if they use proprietary software rather than open source for their internet operations.
“With lower acquisition costs and lower total cost of ownership combined with greater flexibility, stability and security, the question is no longer whether businesses should opt for open source software but when to make the change,” Hasson concludes.