Five Pros and Five Cons of Open Source Software

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 01-09-2013

Five Pros and Five Cons of Open Source Software

ADVANTAGE 1: Few, If Any, Licensing Fees
Of course, this often dispenses with those pesky maintenance charges.

Five Pros and Five Cons of Open Source Software

Five Pros and Five Cons of Open Source Software

ADVANTAGE 2: It's Easy to Manage
You can install open source software in as many locations as you want, with no need to count, track or monitor it for license compliance.

Five Pros and Five Cons of Open Source Software

Five Pros and Five Cons of Open Source Software

ADVANTAGE 3: Continuous, Real-Time Improvement
Because everyone can access the code, anyone can take the initiative to fix bugs and make it better--without having to wait for the next release.

Five Pros and Five Cons of Open Source Software

Five Pros and Five Cons of Open Source Software

ADVANTAGE 4: Company Independence
If the company that created the software fails, the code can still exist and evolve via its user community.

Five Pros and Five Cons of Open Source Software

Five Pros and Five Cons of Open Source Software

ADVANTAGE 5: Hands-On Exploration
Your IT staff can easily "peel the curtain" to explore the code to better understand the product and introduce improvements to best-serve your organization’s needs.

Five Pros and Five Cons of Open Source Software

Five Pros and Five Cons of Open Source Software

DISADVANTAGE 1: It's Not Entirely Free
Open source software can involve unanticipated implementation, administration and support costs.

Five Pros and Five Cons of Open Source Software

Five Pros and Five Cons of Open Source Software

DISADVANTAGE 2: A Learning Curve
You may need to hire an expert in your open source product to get your IT staff up to speed.

Five Pros and Five Cons of Open Source Software

Five Pros and Five Cons of Open Source Software

DISADVANTAGE 3: Confused Users
Because parallel development efforts are ongoing, users may not know which version does what or whether it's compatible with other software on your proprietary platforms.

Five Pros and Five Cons of Open Source Software

Five Pros and Five Cons of Open Source Software

DISADVANTAGE 4: Orphan Software
Some open source projects grind to a halt and die because key programmers fight and quit, or they lose interest and move on to a new project.

Five Pros and Five Cons of Open Source Software

Five Pros and Five Cons of Open Source Software

DISADVANTAGE 5: On Your Own
Unlike with a commercial product, no one in the open source community is obligated to help you or answer any of your questions.

Five Pros and Five Cons of Open Source Software