In a world that is constantly evaluating costs, it is little wonder that there is an increasing demand for cost-effective solutions to business problems. In the real world, this means ‘free,’ and in the digital marketplace, it means ‘open source.’

Open Source aka “Freeware”

Since the early days of the internet, open source software (OSS) has been with us. At that time, though, it was more popularly known as “freeware.” It was only when the Palo Alto’ Freeware Summit was renamed the “Open Source Summit” in 1998 that the term became fixed. 

According to, open source represents a broader set of values, which they call “the open source way.” On their site, they state that “Open source projects, products, or initiatives embrace and celebrate principles of open exchange, collaborative participation, rapid prototyping, transparency, meritocracy, and community-oriented development”.

The positives

Clearly, then, there are many good reasons to use OSS, which is why its use is so widespread and on the rise. We have to start by pointing out the obvious, which is that open source is free. Therefore, it’s attractive to any organization that’s looking to manage or reduce costs. When faced with choosing to purchase proprietary software or using a free version, many smaller organizations will base their decision on price, not functionality.

OSS is developed by a meritocracy, meaning that anyone can access the code, see how the application was developed as well as offer enhancements and improvements. Therefore, it allows for greater collaboration, innovation and improvements in the development of the technology. Having access to the code also means that exploits and weaknesses can be discovered more quickly either by researchers or developers. The project lead can then address issues identified. If they are not addressed, then they will eventually (Read more...)