Why Should a Major Enterprise Depend on Open Source Software

Aug 9, 2019 by Armory

Modern companies, whether they sell socks or trade stocks, are all really software companies: They use software to create competitive advantages, to react to customer demand and market changes, and to find innovative ways to both streamline internal processes and deliver more value to customers.

So why should a major enterprise depend on open source software, created essentially by volunteers, to create the foundations of its digital infrastructure?

Here’s why.

Best-In-Breed

In most cases, open source software is both better than proprietary solutions and is being improved upon more quickly—meaning the gap between reliability and quality is growing. Healthy open source projects have thousands of contributors around the world applying lessons learned from real-life use cases to make the open source project better. Closed source projects, even those developed by major companies, simply don’t have as many people contributing to the project’s success. There’s also a disconnect: The person developing the software isn’t actually using the software. With open source, fixes or new features are often developed in response to a contributor encountering a real-life need while using the software at his or her day job.

Attract Better Talent

Engineering talent is a limited resource, and one that companies often struggle with. Even though all companies are software companies, it’s harder to attract top talent when your pockets aren’t bottomless, your product isn’t tech-focused, and your location isn’t glamorous. Serious engineers often like to contribute to open source projects and see doing so as something that should be part of a good job. Using open source, and allowing your engineering team to contribute any new features or fixes they develop, allows you to not only get access to the best possible software solutions, but also to attract better engineers.

Avoid Lock-In

Given the importance of software to any modern business, avoiding vendor lock-in should be a primary concern. Vendor lock-in takes two forms: One is being locked in with cloud providers, which can make it impossible to leverage multicloud strategies and leave companies vulnerable to price increases.

The second type of lock-in is just as dangerous: Your company becomes dependent on a separate company to build, deploy, or manage your mission-critical applications. You have no control over the other company’s product and can’t prevent them from discontinuing a feature you depend on. This type of dependency creates an unacceptable level of business risk that could leave you scrambling to find a new solution or quickly create your own when a vendor is acquired or goes out of business. With open source software, this risk doesn’t exist—you always have access to the source code and can create new features if you need to at any time. Even if an open source project isn’t supported anymore, you will always have access to the codebase and can support it in-house if needed. There’s no risk of an overnight bankruptcy that leaves you with application downtime.

Open Source: Better Software, Less Risk

Choosing open source software gets companies access to the best software solutions out there, allows companies to attract better engineering talent and takes away the business risk associated with relying on third-party vendors. It also allows companies to leverage the work of thousands of engineers worldwide and frees up the internal team to work on building creative software solutions that will create value for the business—not just keep the lights on.

Want to take a deeper dive? Check out our ebook: The Case for an Open Source Approach to Software Delivery.

Recently Published Posts

A Faster Way to Evaluate Self-Hosted Continuous Deployment from Armory

Sep 30, 2022

Introducing Quick Spin One of the most common challenges that organizations face when implementing a continuous deployment strategy is the time and focus that it takes to set up the tools and processes. But a secure, flexible, resilient and scalable solution is available right now. Want to see if it’s the right tool for your […]

Read more

3 Common Spinnaker Challenges (and Easy Ways to Solve Them)

Sep 27, 2022

Spinnaker is the most powerful continuous delivery tool on the market.  DevOps engineers and developers recognize this power and are looking to use Spinnaker as a foundational tool in their Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) process for hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. Such a powerful, expansive open source tool needs expertise within your organization to […]

Read more

Streamline Advanced Kubernetes Deployments from GitHub Actions with New Armory Service

Sep 23, 2022

Today, Armory is excited to announce the availability of the GitHub Action for Armory Continuous Deployment-as-a-Service. GitHub is where developers shape the future of software. After a developer writes and tests their code in GitHub, it must be deployed. Armory’s GitHub Action for Continuous Deployment-as-a-Service extends the best-in-class deployment capabilities to Kubernetes. CD-as-a-Service enables declarative […]

Read more