Open Source technology has five common myths, so how can you convince your directors to migrate to it? Find out in this article.

Open Source software (OSS) is a no-brainer; it’s the business solution to many issues that organisations face today and it’s the future of IT. Its benefits include helping you to be more innovative and cost-efficient and it offers the freedom of diversity and scalability. It delivers business value by being easy to customise and integrate to the extent that it can offer a competitive advantage to every organisation.

The trouble is that five common myths have attached themselves to Open Source technology and can stop all of the advantages of an Open Source migration in its tracks. That’s why it’s important to dispel them before they hold your managers’ thoughts and decision-making hostage. Talking about the advantages and disadvantages will make no difference unless you can explain why the myths are wrong.

View the PDF version of 5 Common Myths About Open Source.

According to the LinuxIT Linux support services experts, the myths are as follows:

1. Open Source is less secure

The source code is easily accessible, therefore it poses a substantial risk, right? Wrong. There are vulnerabilities in both proprietary and Open Source software, but the fact that the source code is open needn’t be a threat. It can be an advantage as it allows any issues to be discovered and fixed quickly. This means that Open Source software is no less secure than closed, proprietary software.

What’s more, the Linux support services expert LinuxIT can indemnify its clients’ community Open Source software with a strict service level agreement, which ensures that the necessary support is available to prevent, manage and fix any issues that may arise from an Open Source software implementation project.

2. Open Source is all about infrastructure

As Open Source technologies first emerged at the systems level, and subsequently went on to be used heavily to support Cloud infrastructure services and platforms, people tend to think that Open Source applications were only used at this level of the computing stack.

The truth is that this view is not accurate. Open Source software has been successfully used for Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), marketing automation applications and almost every other application area.

3. Open Source is free

While it provides organisations with lots of choice and freedom, that doesn’t mean that Open Source software is totally free. “Freedom relates to breaking free from old constraints to deploy at your own pace in order to mitigate any risks and costs that are commonly associated with vendor lock-in”, say the LinuxIT experts. So the ‘free’ aspect of Open Source has nothing to do with its price; it’s more like free speech than free beer. So there will be some additional support and maintenance costs.

This needn’t make you run away from Linux as the LinuxIT experts can help your organisation to undertake a sophisticated evaluation of the total costs of ownership, comparing the benefits and costs of open and closed source software to allow your team to make informed decisions about what’s best for your company.

4. Open Source is not ready for the ‘big time’

Gartner predicts that 99% of the Global 2000 enterprise will be using Open Source software in their mission-critical software portfolios by 2016, dispelling the myth that OSS is not ready for the big time. It’s a mature commercial technology that’s no longer the preserve of hobbyist software developers.

5. Open Source is just the latest fad

Open Source software has been in commercial usage since the 1970s. At least 50% of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) are committed to it, and 70% plan to increase their investment in it. Among the big names using OSS are Google, Facebook, Tesco and Vodafone. In fact, nine out of 10 Wall Street banks also use it.

So based on all of the evidence and the benefits that come with adopting an Open Source software approach, the technology has a great chance of standing above its proprietary rivals in the future.

But in Linux support services specialist LinuxIT’s experience over the last 12 years, there is a prerequisite for organisations to seek pragmatic, informed, independent and impartial consultancy that considers whether your organisation would benefit most from a hybrid or blended approach that implements a mixture of proprietary and Open Source solutions as part of the roadmap to your own technology evolution.

It’s critical to understand the advantages and disadvantages of every approach to ensure business competitiveness and success. For more ideas, please take a look at our eGuide, ‘The five biggest blunders you can make pushing for Open Source adoption at board level’