Innovations play a crucial part in the companies’ approach to the market. With the competition around the globe, asking right questions such as “How can we do this better?” can help the companies to keep innovation rate high and to lead instead of follow. Aside from products, innovation can be involved in new services, business models, processes and functions. And this is where many companies start to understand the benefits of open source.
Innovate or disappear
Why should we innovate? The question has many answers as the companies have to face continuously growing challenges in a form of technological advancements of the market, increasing globalization or customer expectations. Those who see and grasp at the opportunities for change through innovation in the current uncertain business environment will not only survive, they will successfully compete.
Every organization has its own priorities, goals, and issues to balance. Some of the benefits innovations bring are profitability increases by means of productivity and efficiency gains, competing successfully to respond to industry disrupters or increasing market share. Innovative approaches to the tomorrow’s challenges are a differentiator between the companies that lead and those who follow. Innovation is quickly becoming a survival skill and working towards tomorrow today is a must.
That’s all nice…but what has open source to offer?
Studies have shown the way a company spends resources on the innovation is more important than how much it spends. Companies that use open source software find that it offers the most flexibility of any third-party software alternative. They never get locked into a vendor in the question of costs, buying structures, or redistribution terms. This freedom of choosing vendors and having compatible technology they can build on for the long-term is a significant reason for the companies to choose open source. Most importantly, using open source software speeds the development and keeps companies on the cutting edge of technology by facilitating innovation. Here are the key benefits worth mentioning:
Thanks to a diverse group of vendors, customers and community participating in open source efforts, the open source solutions tend to rapidly add functionality relevant to the audience. This is done faster than proprietary solutions can typically achieve, as the ideas, needs and costs are shared between substantially larger group of involved parties. Open source adopters are therefore able to influence prioritization of capabilities added to open source initiatives and quickly accomplish goals specific to their environment.
The open source innovations can help companies save precious time and money, giving them a competitive lead in the business expansion. That’s why open source is the perfect foundation companies can create their own added value on, without having to reimplement solutions to already solved problems. Doing anything else is suboptimal and will ultimately lead to a more burdensome maintenance and update responsibility, and ultimately falling behind competitors. Moreover, software created in open source means the avoidance of the plagiarized software traps and staying clear of patents, copyrights and licences more easily. These form a significant part of the commercial solutions’ prices.
In the past, companies bought important software only from large, established software vendors. Open source innovation now allows smaller players to provide viable solutions while giving the buyers possibility to have control over the technical direction of the software. Using software that builds on an open source code base allows companies to participate in the technology’s evolution. Such approach brings an economical, but mainly technological economy of scale.
A lot of people assume the most innovation is derived from closed source software and developers. In many instances such assumption is not correct. The approach to developing technology under an open use license has become very popular also in the circles of numerous commercially focused companies. Nowadays there are thousands upon thousands of open source projects that bring about innovation. One of them is Evolveum’s midPoint. MidPoint was created with an understanding of specific needs of companies. Even if other products on the market offer comparable quality of IDM and governance features, midPoint offers something more: a competitive advantage. Thanks to its flexibility and shared knowledge, its functionality can be seamlessly extended, giving the companies possibility to save plenty of time and resources.
In today’s rapidly evolving markets, companies that consistently and most quickly innovate will win. Not using open source software may place your organization at a disadvantage. Therefore, when thinking about the innovations, think about the open source!