The Challenges Of Using Open Source Software For Businesses

The Challenges Of Using Open Source Software For Businesses

In the past decade, the usage of open-source software has become increasingly common. Thereon, the quality of open-source software has dramatically improved.

As a result, 90% of businesses across the globe use at least one open-source software. The popularity of open-source software comes from the fact that they provide top-notch service which involves low-cost innovations.

Despite the numerous benefits of open-source software, it is critical to stay mindful of its challenges and dangers.

Staying aware of the challenges of using open software ensures that the business uses the right open-source software while having a risk management strategy. Here is a list of common challenges of using source software for businesses. 

1. Everyone Knows About The Vulnerabilities

The USP of open-source software is that the vulnerabilities of the software are out for public knowledge. This situation presents itself as a double-edged sword. The benefit of having the vulnerability out in the open is that anyone can fix the issue for the greater benefit of the committee and the users. 

However, it is crucial to remember that the open-source vulnerability is out for everyone and includes malicious attackers. Therefore, if the company does not ensure the latest version of the software, they are, in a way, presenting itself on a platter to the cyber attacker. 

2. Competition Between Developers 

The market of open-source software is highly competitive for developers. Therefore, it is common for open-source software to undergo numerous updates and features. As a result, it often gives birth to software no longer aligning with organizational goals. 

For example, if you use What Is My IP to check the IP address of your device periodically when you connect to a different network, you aim the website to work in a particular way. Imagine the horror if it starts providing many other features that compromise the website’s primary function. 

3. Lack Of Security 

One of the most significant disadvantages of open-source software is that it does not come with any legal obligation or claims for security. It is because, most often, open-source software developers are not security experts. Thus, not only does the open source software house numerous security loopholes, but also, these vulnerabilities are out in the open. Therefore, companies need to have cybersecurity experts when using open-source software. 

4. Inadequate Reports 

The development of open-source software highly depends upon the reports and inputs of individual users. The contributions of the individual users are sometimes sufficient and sometimes not. Consequently, there is always a problem of inadequate reports associated with open-source software. 

However, the users always have the option to contact the developers to request a report on the software. However, it is essential to remember that one might only sometimes receive an answer. 

5. Insufficient Support 

Even though the open-source community is large, it does not guarantee proper support for the users of the open-source software. The committee involved in the making of the open-source does not come with a guarantee that it will resolve or fix any issue associated with it. It is because the users who contribute to the improvement of open-source do it as an act of kindness, and it is not associated with any obligations. 

Additionally, no one knows who created or ideated the open-source software. Thus, it is hard to determine who is liable if things start going south while using the software. Also, there is always abandonment associated with open-source software. 

6. Steep Learning Curve

Another major challenge associated with open-source software is that it often comes with a steep learning curve. The same is visible from the example of Linux, a highly efficient operating software that is not easy to use. Most open-source software comes with a steep learning curve, and mastering the software takes time. Therefore, the company often has difficulty filling the skill gap in using the software. 

Other challenges of often using source software for businesses are intellectual property issues, poor developer practices, compatibility and irregular updates. When using open-source software, companies should calculate the opportunity cost to ensure a high return on investment. Even though open-source software is free to use, it comes with its own hidden cost, which manifests in other ways. 

A careful investigation of open-source software will help companies make wise decisions. Undoubtedly, open-source software offers high value. However, comparing the value that it brings with its associated risk can help a firm decide whether using the software is helpful or not. 

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