Usage of Open Source in industry : A study
The term open source is not new, we have been using the ideology from ages for now. Let em take you to those times, when our grandma used to teach young girls how to make nice dish. She used to teach other ladies in our neighborhood the same. Starting from the ingredients till the last finish product. She used to explain each step.
I hope by now readers must have got the smell of the dish “Open Source”. Let me give you some insight of the keyword open source, which is the essence of the article.
According to oxford dictionary the word open means “with no restrictions on those allowed to participate” and Source means “find out where (something) can be obtained”. According to the same dictionary open source is defined as “denoting software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified”. According to opensource.org “Open source doesn't just mean access to the source code”. I won’t discuss the exact meaning of open source since it is out of the scope of the article. We will understand open source as a software which is free to download, use, change(with some licence restrictions) and redistribute.
Take any industry, may it be risk management, information technology, customer relationship management, logistics, and many more, usage of software is exhaustive. Open source in these industries can become a big boost to these industries in terms of cost ( an important driver for using open source), bug fixes, maintenance and some other factors. In an article on why choose proprietary software over open source Matt talks about factors that makes open source score over proprietary software. First point, which matt talks about, is open source price tag and second point is bug fixes. If we look at figure 1, it clearly
Figure-1: OSS percentage of deployed software grows, while proprietary software declines.
shows that organizations are also moving towards open source over proprietary software. According to Forrester survey there are 35% industries using open source tools for
Figure-2: Forrester Consulting, September 2008.
increasing office productivity, 18% for messaging, 13% ERP, 7% business intelligence, 10% CRM applications and 10% ESB/BM/Workflow for more than 1 year. This clearly indicates how industry is moving towards open source and using in their business processes.
Beyond Cost reduction, the Open Source paradigm embraces an even more important long-term benefit: a more innovative IT shop that can rapidly adapt to changing technologies and seize new opportunities. 
Recession is making companies to move towards open source software, to cut their huge IT costs and lessen their burden. In a survey done by IDC, 79% of respondents said that they are evaluating the products or decided to adopt linux operating system for their servers and 68% for their desktops.
We have now seen that popularity of open source software on proprietary software is increasing and had gained momentum in recent past. The factors that had contributed to the rise of open source software are:-
- Cost, as a biggest driving force.
- Rapid evolution of the software.
- Bug fixes are more rapid.
References: [Links Accessed on 19-October-2010]