Reasons to Use Open Source for Product Development

Michael Harvey
August 17, 2022
 Mins Read

Software plays a critical role in our 21st Century lives. Whether professional or personal, the importance of applications range as far as our imaginations stretch. Therefore it is of paramount importance to ensure the frameworks used to build the software are able to maximize its benefits while minimizing inconvenience to the organization.

There are a number of criteria to assess before picking the right development framework for the goals and objectives in mind. Open Source development offers a uniquely beneficial system for software creation for both customers and businesses alike.

What is Open Source?

There are a number of software development models currently in use. The most common being licensing, commercial and open source;

  • Licensing allows developers to share their project with users for a fee and will most likely charge for any self made modifications if permissions are extended.
  • For B2C distribution commercial software may be preferable. It offers users a comprehensive end product without any options for interventions or code editing.
  • Open Source software describes a method of code development that can be viewed, edited and improved by anyone with the knowledge and access. This information can be explored by the public to make alterations or distribute the code as they would like. Open source software development offers a non-complicated approach to sharing and distribution.

There are 10 criteria established by the Open Source Initiative that are used to establish whether a software is Open Source;

  1. Redistribution is done Free of Cost
  2. Source Code must be easy to Access
  3. The Program License Allows Edits and Derivatives of the Code
  4. The Original Author's Code is always left intact
  5. Development License does not discriminate against any groups or individuals
  6. Development License does not discriminate against any industry use, even if it was not the intended purpose
  7. Source Code must be included with Distribution
  8. Program Rights or License cannot be assigned to individual parts of the project
  9. Program Rights or License cannot be restrictive or stop the use of other software that can be used to enhance or edit the project
  10. Program Rights or License cannot be limited to certain technological platforms or interfaces. It must stay neutral.

69% of all IT leaders have acknowledged the magnitude of open source contributions to the digital world. PHP scripting and Python programming languages are two of the most popular open source software's and have greatly contributed to the Internet landscape as we know it.

Why Use Open Source?

The flexible framework of the Open Source model offers a wide range of benefits to the organization and consumer alike. Reasons to use Open Source for product development include;

1. Security

Open source software development is a collaborative effort. This could include an array of security software specialists or industry experts. As a result, the efforts culminate into educated building. There are fewer chances of problems created and faster responses to detected flaws with a strong and willing team at the development helm.

2. Quality

Another benefit of multiple perspectives is the development of better quality and standards. Additionally, the ability to access and edit the code by default ensures the development process is user friendly with room to develop, collaborate and innovate.

3. Agility and Elasticity

Business is a fast changing environment. In order to be an ideal complement to your business environment, your processes must be as dynamic. The flexible nature of the open source framework allows you to adapt the software to your organization's needs while maintaining minimal resource dedication. Additionally, development cycles are greatly minimized with collaborative efforts creating software updates and correction.

4. Freedom

Software distribution normally comes at a cost. High prices, prospects of license revoking or unlawful access to your business’ information could be the result of using non open source software. Mitigate these risks by using non-proprietary software. As a result, the organization is insulated from terms and conditions put forward by software suppliers.

5. Customization

Versatility of software being used could offer immense benefits to an organization. Since business developers receive the foundation or “building blocks” of their build for free, initial investment is minimal. In house engineers can work on crafting features that work best with your organization. Since modification can be done inhouse, the process is quick and easy with results that can be implemented as soon as they are developed.

6. Interoperability

When open source software is built, it may function on a small selection of platforms initially. With the growing number of contributors, the software evolves and can be built for use on a multitude of hardware and operating system options.

7. Support

One of the biggest benefits to Open Source development is the community. With multiple contributors and developers, there is always easy assistance available. While better support options are available at nominal fees, 67% of project contributors have offered fixes to bugs within the software and added to the pool of features.

8. Costs

The financial investment for running Open Source platforms initially is fixed. Depending on how in house developers would like to work with the software, costs can increase in a controlled manner based on upgrades required. The lack of licensing costs and recurring fees also makes open source software a great option to create a foundation stack of software for your organization.


Open source development as a concept offers a wide range of benefits. From a product development standpoint, with new items flooding the market regularly this could be a cost efficient and effective manner to understand practicality. With developers offering input as professionals and consumers, creating a product that meets business goals and objectives has truly never been easier or as financially friendly.

Final Thoughts

Open source software is a license free development project that works through interest and collaboration. Developers from across the globe are able to access, edit and develop the source code to create bigger, better software. Reasons to use open source for product development include minimal investment cost, maximum mobility caused by the lack of restrictive licensing and a strong community of builders and assistance.

Article by
Michael Harvey

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