What the Emergence of Open Source Means to Businesses

A not-so-new concept, open-source (OS) is the emerging alternative that has been gaining more and more popularity over the years. The open-source business intelligence has extended its breadth, and has become the trend - from financial and office software to Web, desktop utilities and games to practically almost all significant ways of organizing business tasks.

Revolutionizing business and software strategies in a massive way, the open-source movement allows information to be produced, distributed and controlled in the hands of many. This idea, which is exemplified by Linux in the operating system landscape - is, at present, gaining momentum in the marketplace.

A solid example of the success of OS is the emergence of Wikipedia - the open-source encyclopedia founded in 2001 - which in just a matter of years, has made paid encyclopedias virtually obsolete.

Suddenly, the world is seeing that Wikipedia - which is based on cooperation and contribution - can work, it being free and convenient to use, with content that is characterized by real-time updates. People are also seeing how the free flow of information can provide efficiency on a massive scale.

Low book sales typify the scenario of ever-growing OS adaptation. In a related report by The UK Telegraph, low sales have beleaguered the generic books industry in the United Kingdom in 2009 - despite international business marketing efforts- owing not only to the recession but also to technological changes.While books cannot be thought of as dispensable, analysts are projecting that online book sales will soon overtake hardbound publications in terms of revenues.

Focusing on the business arena, research from Gartner Inc. states that in 2012, production deployments of open source business intelligence tools will be five times its scope in 2009. The study notes that adoption of open source differs between the telecommunication and financial sector; and midsize companies, healthcare, the public sector, manufacturing and other similar industries that are more "conscious" about costs. The open-source concept is poised to be a viable approach for the displacement of incumbent vendors.

The utilization of open-source tools, which is becoming part of enterprises' transformed business and software strategies, is embraced in projects as it is deemed to lead to the creation of better and notably more affordable software. Buyers of licensed software for business from major vendors find that complex products that do not allow for control or additional functionality and size-ability options are just too costly.

At present, companies are realizing that by purchasing closed-source software, they are bound by the need to tap their provider for support, which then translates to unplanned overheads. Moreover, tremendous upgrade costs are putting off enterprises.

While the idea of open-source is seen with its benefits, it is far from being perfect. Open-source software also necessitates payment, servicing and licensing- although not requiring as much as big software platforms from leading providers.

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