Open source software is, in the simplest terms, a type of free software that people can use and alter. Increased access to high-speed internet connections and sophisticated technologies have paved the way for the open source phenomenon.
Why do companies offer software for free?
Some companies provide their entire suites of software for free, with one popular offering being Google’s docs and drives programs.
Google’s drive suite is used by businesses worldwide to enable them to share documents amongst collaborators, not only within the same organisations but on a global stage. Users are able to send links to software via email, enabling others to either view or edit a document from outside the organisation.
Another example of Open Source software comes from Adobe, who recorded a staggering revenue of $11.17 billion in 2019. Their PDF software has swept the globe in recent years. Not only is their software offered for free (the none-editable version), it is also compatible with Microsoft’s Office programs such as Word and Excel. Despite requiring a PDF to Excel converter such as PDF tables, the PDF office tool is used within offices and organisations worldwide on a daily basis.
What open source software means for software companies
As the complexity and competitiveness of the software industry has intensified, the need to come up with more innovative marketing ideas has also stepped up.
Open source software is a form of advertising for software companies. By offering a product for free, the companies are essentially offering a free trial in the hope that not only will customers go back for more but they will also recommend and share the product with others to spread the word.
Software companies know that people do not like change, and once the software becomes a part of a business, a company is more likely to stick with it.
The open source market offers products in every sphere of business including office applications, CRM systems, ERP systems, design packages, accounting packages, and media players. Whatever type of software you need, there will almost certainly be an open source version of it out there for free.
The ready access to open source software has revolutionised the way we run our businesses in such a way that we didn’t even see it coming.