Today’s competitive environment is driven by transformational change, innovation, and technologies that increase velocity to market and protect against modern security threats. To compete in this new environment, organizations must innovate and collaborate using modern business processes and development architectures. Shadow-Soft’s James Hendrix shares his ideas on why Open Source Software (OSS) offers a good path to accelerate innovation and protect against threats.
“Open” ideas = “Open” innovation through collaboration
The free exchange and community-contributed focus of tech ideas, information and innovations are nothing new, in fact, we’ve been doing it well before the first line of code was ever written. Nowadays though, the open source market for software technologies from whole operating systems, automation, to application management has afforded organizations, sized from the microbusiness scale to Fortune 500 corporations, the ability to maintain cutting edge technologies and therefore competitiveness.
Enterprise-scale vendors, like Red Hat, protect those same organizations by taking these community-driven and innovative technologies and hardening them by making them more secure and providing ongoing support through security and stability patches, while also adding new features, enhanced stability, and scalability to fit a wide array of business needs and sizes, all while being very economical and affordable.
Democratizing software allows for collective development, a sea of enriching and powerful ideas that can provide cascading efficiencies and further the efforts of innovation for organizations as well and decreasing the time to market and internal readiness timeline to make that a reality. Open source advocates and champions such as Red Hat work by not only bettering these community-driven technologies, but also contribute back to the upstream community developments with a vast team of seasoned, talented developers, not only bettering the technologies and community, but also the world that leverages such open source technologies.
“Open” to change – cost savings, flexibility, and portability
Take for instance Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), the child of upstream projects like Fedora, embraced from their collaborative roots, transformed and enhanced to increase data portability, interoperability, flexibility, and change frameworks that allow organizations to use the best tools at hand. RHEL 8 is the most secure, enterprise-grade, and feature-rich open source Operating System (OS) in the market, yet when compared to legacy OS’s like Unix, or proprietary OS’s like Windows, it is extremely affordable, well-supported, and constantly being improved upon at a pace that other OS’s can’t reach due to community contributions and an ever-evolving source code.
These benefits mean a few things:
1. Lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for infrastructure
Open source, Linux-based OS’s can run practically on every architecture and usually only involve inexpensive support costs for supported flavors (like RHEL) with no cost for the OS itself.
- 80% of IT budget is spent to “keep the lights on” – IT departments typically spend most of their money on maintenance rather than development and future initiatives
- Decreasing TCO allows more money to be spent on other essential or innovative projects
- Infrastructure platforms based on RHEL experienced 34% lower annual TCO than systems using Windows Server
2. More flexibility
Open source technologies are often able to adapt and change to more frameworks and be compatible with complementary technologies and platforms than proprietary systems.
3. Faster innovations
Community-sourced and driven open source technologies are collaborative in their development and enhancement. By leveraging bigger pools of ideas and collaborative contribution models, open source technologies innovate more quickly and allow you to use cutting edge technologies faster.
4. Open governance
No single vendor controls development overall, which means this neutral bias allows collective ideas and new features to flourish while simultaneously allowing greater collaboration and community motivation to secure their shared technology
As a result, technologies such as RHEL have become the backbone of multiple Fortune 500 companies from an infrastructure and operational standpoint, providing flexibility, agility, and security at a significantly more affordable price point. The adoption of containers and microservice-architectured applications would not have been as easily achievable or as economical without community-driven, open source projects such as Kubernetes, birthing other innovative container management technologies like Red Hat OpenShift, furthering tech-driven organizations ability to innovate, reduce cost, and increase agility of their products, internal development, and information while untethering them from proprietary vendors and sunk-cost infrastructure.
The future is in the cloud, and the future of the cloud is “open”
Open source technologies continue to populate and reign supreme in the cloud, and for good reasons. OSS adoption has been driving cloud adoption and transformation, allowing organizations to change from Capital Expenditure (CapEx) infrastructure investments in traditional servers, which could be outdated or out-scaled within a year, to an Operational Expenditure (OpEx) model that is consumption, scale, and needs-driven lending more adaptability, flexibility and affordability to infrastructure and overall IT TCO over time.
Additionally, this leveraging of OSS prevents vendor lock-in, greatly reducing reliance on a single source or original developers, let alone proprietary options. OSS makes access and migration to the cloud easy, efficient, and smart, allowing organizations to have a more agile presence, dependable infrastructure, and high-availability to consumers all while making their information and products more portable and accessible for the market.
Keep your options “open”
All in all, the principals of the open source community and the benefits of OSS are far-reaching and have been and continue to be a shaping force within the technology world across all business industries and sizes. From its initial cost savings to it’s ever rapid and continuous innovation, to powering the future of IT infrastructure and process, open source technologies keep the critical underpinnings of IT and development strategy free of lock-in.
By leveraging open source software, you can keep your business and its future innovations and endeavors free of lock-in too, all while experiencing the cost, scaling, and future-focused benefits.
If you’re interested in talking to us about Open Source Software, you can book a meeting with someone on the Shadow-Soft sales team here.