How Cloud Computing Solves the Problems of Open Source and Proprietary Software

Over the last decade, the open source community has done a great deal to move the IT space into the future. It has gone to great lengths to successfully bring down costs of getting software off the ground, open up software to the developer community, and make IT solutions more flexible.

In contrast, proprietary software offers a great advantage in that there are many people who are paid well to make sure the software is exceptional. This value can’t be understated – in the free market, the best functioning software sells the best, and thus everyone is committed to putting out the best software. So when you do purchase proprietary software, especially one that has been around for some time, you are typically assured a quality product.

This is not to say that open source does not offer a quality product – quite the contrary. However, with open source, you must invest in a few key components, such as hiring technical people to administer and update the software, install it, and make sure it is properly functioning. In short, both open source and proprietary software run into the same IT problems.

When thinking about some of these problems, an exciting solution is made available with cloud based solutions.  Here are three ways that the cloud is solving the problems presented by open source and proprietary software.

  1. Service Mentality – NetSuite, Salesforce, and other Cloud solutions are making a service mentality more competitive for businesses.  This means that a business will have to invest less time in getting their software to work and they can spend more time on other aspects of the business. By switching your software to be a service, you can rely on that service provider to automatically offer you updates and keep current with the latest technologies.
  2. Remove the traditional premise based software problems – Another fact about open source software is that it still falls into the trap of the same problems faced by premise based software. For example  – let’s say I am interested in the Sugar CRM.  This is a great open source system – but you will still have to acquire the software, find a place to host it, get it active, and put it to use.  And you will have to upgrade it over time and manage the hardware footprint. With a cloud based solution, all of these problems are already taken care of – and you start immediately using the software to build your business.
  3. Move away from the old IT model – With a Cloud based software solution, a business no longer has to be in the low value areas of the IT business. That means that they can get rid of hardware and the people who have to be dedicated to keep the software up to date, secure, while running trouble free. With software like NetSuite, all of the software is always on and ready to go on a browser – what you pay for is the use of the tool; not all the costs to get the tool ready for use.

In many ways, the open source movement is not mainstream anymore. The mainstream approach is now the Cloud.  As this movement continues to gain momentum, businesses will start to cut costs, grow their business, and gain a competitive advantage.

Are you thinking twice about using Open Source?

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Marty Zigman

Holding all three official certifications, Marty is Southern California's NetSuite expert and leads a team of senior professionals at Prolecto Resources, Inc. He is a former Deloitte & Touche CPA and has held CTO roles. For over 25 years, Marty has produced leadership in ERP, CRM and eCommerce business systems. Contact Marty to setup a conversation.

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