Business software development has come a very long way from the late 90s and early 2000s. Back then, the idea of anything other than proprietary software was laughable at best. Linux was entirely niche and languages like JavaScript suffered from a foundational technology that had yet to catch up to the possibility offered.

No matter how forward-thinking business technology was, it was still under the thrall of companies like Microsoft.

But then a tectonic shift happened in the tech landscape and open source software became the very heart and soul of enterprise business. This happened, thanks to tools like JavaScript, PHP, Python, OpenJDK, C++, Go, ASP.NET, Docker containers, Chromium, Angular, Django, Ruby on Rails, Spring Web MVC, Laravel, and Linux. From that point on, any business looking to hire software developers must look at potential hires to see if they are familiar with open source technology.

That’s why your business needs to completely rethink how it views software development to understand that the future belongs to open source.

But why? Let’s dive in the future of business software development and find out.

The great enabler

This is probably the single most important reason why open source has become the darling of businesses around the globe. With open source technology, the sky’s the limit. Open-source software enables innovation because developers have access to the very source code, which makes it not only possible but easy to integrate that software into their own work.

Because of this, developers are less likely to have to reinvent the wheel to get things done. That translates to being more productive and innovative. In a world in constant evolution that demands quick pivots to keep up, your developers need to be able to work smart and work fast. Open source enables that very thing.

The speed of change is crucial in today’s business environment. When using proprietary software, it can be quite a challenge to integrate it into your various pipelines. In some instances, you have to make a request to the company that owns the software and wait for them to develop a patch that allows you to plug it into your chain. That could take weeks or months. And even though you might have the in-house developers capable of creating such a patch, do they have time to reverse-engineer the software to make it possible to create the necessary “glue” to fit the pieces together?

And when your business isn’t capable of quickly pivoting or evolving, customers are likely to jump to the next company that can.

When you employ open-source software, and you hire software engineers well-versed in this technology, you enable your company to make fast moves.

Security over secrecy

The debate is over: Open source software is more secure than its proprietary counterpart. Why? When software is open it can be vetted by countless developers and security professionals. When that happens, vulnerabilities aren’t only discovered faster but patched at a rate proprietary software simply can’t match.

That doesn’t mean open source is perfect. Over the years there have been plenty of zero-day vulnerabilities discovered, some of which took some time to patch. But in general, it’s much easier for software to be vetted and secured when it’s not closed-source.

Every business should strive for the most secure platforms and tools it can use – and open source software is the best path to do so.

Scalability

Thanks to containers, businesses can scale beyond their wildest dreams. Imagine deploying a web service capable of handling massive demand and then making it possible to not just automatically up- and down-scale that service, but have it automatically heal when something goes awry.

With open-source software, that’s not a pipedream, it’s a reality.

Additionally, DevOps is exponentially easier to implement thanks to open-source software. For those who aren’t aware of DevOps, it’s the intersection of development and operations, such that innovation and the software development lifecycle are considerably more collaborative and efficient.

Collaboration counts

Open-source software also fosters a collaboration environment. You’ll discover your developers are working with other software engineers around the globe on a project that contains numerous moving pieces. That type of collaboration will also help to promote innovation and have your in-house developers integrating new styles or ideas into their work.

When your developers collaborate on that level, serious work can get done.

Larger talent pool

The global open-source talent pool is massive and covers a very broad range of skills. When your company taps into that pool you’ll find a world of innovation and ideas has opened up for you. Considering most of the largest software projects on the planet are open-source (such as the Linux kernel), you can be sure they attract the best talent available.

Don’t you want to tap into that talent?

Conclusion

Open-source software will continue to dominate the world of business. Thanks to projects like the Linux kernel, Apache Cassandra, MariaDB, TensorFlow, Kubernetes, Ansible, React, and Flutter, business software development will continue to skyrocket and businesses will find themselves even more dependent on open-source.

So, what are you waiting for? Embrace open-source software for your company and let the innovation flow.

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