One of the challenges when it comes to using software is that the creators are easily able to lock features and ask you for extra money in return. On top of that, most software is not always customizable to the degree you want as well. That’s why many people and even businesses are turning towards Open-Source Software. In fact, around 90% of businesses are using at least an open source component. While it’s great and cheaper to use Open-Source Software, you also have to deal with various risks.
Little to no security
The problem with Open-Source Software is that it doesn’t really have any major security features built in. Developers that create Open-Source Software use open source code with the idea of making the process easier for them. Plus, it also removes any major liabilities for them too. The problem here is that using random third party libraries doesn’t really help security-wise, if anything it adds yet another extra layer of worries since you don’t know what to expect. If there are any vulnerabilities or risks, then the end user is responsible to deal with them.
Just because you use Open-Source Software, that doesn’t mean it’s safe. These types of software won’t get the support and assistance that regular software does. In turn, that means the software itself is open to a lot of vulnerabilities. And those may or may not be patched. That’s where the true issue arrives, because you will end up putting yourself at risk, just to save some money. These vulnerabilities can lead to data loss, identity theft and many other similar problems, which in turn will bring in major issues for your business.
Needless to say, Open-Source Software is offered as-is. You don’t receive any warranty, nor do you get any support. Sure, some volunteers might end up supporting the software here and there. But you can’t rely on them especially if the software has any major flaws. You can just use the software the way it’s provided, and if there are issues you can wait on others or you try to fix it on your own.
That’s why Open-Source Software is not suitable for businesses, because you can’t expect anyone to fix any issues or implement any new ideas. The software is always provided the way it is, without any expectation that it will get bigger or better for that manner. And that’s exactly what you need to keep in mind.
It leads to operational insufficiencies
The problem here is that using open source components will lead to a lot of extra work. You must track how these components interact with your own, what version they have, where you use them and what components are used throughout the entire project. When you use dozens of components like this, it’s safe to say that it becomes a huge undertaking to tackle all of this the way you want.
Integrations may or may not be provided
In the business world you always rely on integrations and that’s why having them does make a huge difference. However, you can’t expect any integrations from Open-Source Software. Sometimes they are provided and that’s great, but it’s unrealistic to expect more and more integrations coming in.
People are not paid to create Open-Source Software, they mostly do it out of passion or to create a portfolio. So these types of software are not going to give you the benefits and results you want due to their nature. Which is why you want to go with enterprise-level software that offers all the support and integrations you might need.
Not the best developer practices
The reality is that a lot of Open-Source Software is made either for fun, to experiment or to create a portfolio, as we mentioned earlier. Which is why many developers that create this kind of software won’t really use the best development practices. Yes, it definitely comes with its fair share of issues, but the fact that the code is not exactly their own or it’s very messy is a problem.
Issues with intellectual property
Due to the nature of Open-Source Software, you can’t really expect this software to acknowledge or pay for any IP used here. Since it’s free, there’s a lot of lee-way, however if you use it within a for-profit business you can get into hot waters from a legal standpoint. And that’s exactly why not using Open-Source Software is the better option if you have a business.
Using Open-Source Software is very risky as you can see from all the ideas depicted above. Sure, it might be cheaper to rely on Open-Source Software especially for simple tasks. However, if you need complex features, great integrations and adequate support, then Open-Source Software might not be the ideal solution for you!