Top Six Advantages of Open Source Development/Products
- by Brittany Day
Open source programs and solutions offer many advantages over proprietary alternatives including better quality, higher levels of security, superior flexibility, lower costs and a thriving community surrounding open source development.
Guardian Digital is an open source email security company and a strong proponent of the open source development model. The enterprise was founded as an internet security provider, and has since narrowed its focus to email security. Guardian Digital relies on highly secure purpose-based open source programs that provide customers with the most effective and reliable comprehensive email security solutions. These solutions are designed to offer businesses and individuals reliable protection against the latest and most sophisticated email-related threats. As an active contributor to the Linux community and as the sponsor of LinuxSecurity.com, Guardian Digital strives to educate society on the myriad benefits that open source solutions offer both enterprises and individuals. Notable advantages of open source include:
- Quality: Open source development is transparent and collaborative. Developers are able to access code and communicate with other experts in the open source community. They discuss the development of features and work together to solve problems. The collaboration that is inherent of open source development leads to exceptional levels of innovation and results in the highest quality products.
- Security: Open source products are often more secure than proprietary alternatives. The visibility of open source code provides developers and engineers with access to open source projects. As a result, open source experts around the world are able to review and improve upon open source programs. Because open source products are thoroughly reviewed by the community, vulnerabilities are detected and fixed very rapidly. This results in exceptionally secure products.
- Freedom and flexibility: Because open source programs are standards based and freely accessible, individuals and enterprises can avoid the risk of vendor lock-in by choosing open source solutions. Using proprietary software can force people and businesses to continue relying on a product because they lack the flexibility and freedom to escape, even if they are unsatisfied or the price increases.
- Cost effective: Although open source products are not free, they are often much more cost effective than proprietary solutions. Unlike open source software, proprietary software requires licensing fees, which automatically drives the prices of proprietary products up compared to the prices of alternative open source options.
- Community values: Open source developers aim to create products that are as effective and useful to the community as possible. Open source engineering is often supported by a community that shares the common goal of creating and improving solutions so that they will offer the most benefits possible to both businesses and society as a whole. In contrast, proprietary products are often developed with the main goal of benefitting the vendor. Moreover, the vast and vibrant community that surrounds open source development has much more to offer in regards to innovation and problem solving than small, private groups working on proprietary solutions do.
- Becoming increasingly popular: More enterprises and individuals than ever before are choosing open source solutions over proprietary products. This increase in popularity is providing the open source community with support and resources, enabling open source development to continue evolving and improving. As a result, open source products maintain a leading edge over often stagnant and outdated proprietary technology.
According to ZDNet, 78 percent of companies of all sizes across industries are now choosing open source software over alternative proprietary solutions (ZD Net). This percentage will likely continue to increase as more businesses recognize the various competitive advantages that open source solutions provide in regards to product quality, security, and freedom from vendor lock-in. Guardian Digital is extremely pleased that open source software is becoming increasingly prevalent and that a large percentage of society is currently benefiting from open source development.
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