In recent years, the government has advocated the use of Open Source Software to improve agility, transparency, and accountability in web development. They emphasize the importance of being accessible and the collaborative benefits that this software brings. But this doesn’t answer all the questions about using Open Source Software. Including the pros and cons and whether the government uses OSS for digital transformation. This feature article aims to answer these questions and attempt to inform the reader about the future of Open-Source Software.
What is open source software?
Open source software is a collaborative method of creating and developing software. It started in the 1950s and over the decades has grown into a platform that promotes community and inclusion. The concept of intellectual freedom is paramount to OSS programs.
The collaborative nature of OSS ensures that it is distributed so that developers can freely use it and make changes.
The pros and cons of open source software
So, what are the pros and cons of open source software?
First of all the advantages:
- Popular open source projects are less likely to contain bugs and security vulnerabilities than commercial closed source software. OSS projects are more likely to fix bugs and vulnerabilities and release the fixes faster than commercial software.
- The benefits of a community structure and the ability to advertise are clear advantages of OSS. You can build a reputation as a developer with this software and promote your services at the same time.
- Using OSS can create a common goal and develop a valued workforce. Employees feel that they are not only contributing to individual goals, but also helping the web development community.
- Since Open-Source Software appears to be less vulnerable to security breaches and bugs, this will naturally lead to better quality software. Because OSS provides a community of developers worldwide, the quality of both code and individual projects is sure to improve.
- OSS allows developers to freely modify code and provide different functionalities based on specific needs. Therefore, it offers more flexibility.
- Open source software offers enhanced security and higher quality code than closed source software can achieve. It also gives developers more flexibility and a sense of community, which is invaluable. However, the advantages are not endless, so here are the disadvantages of OSS:
- While this is preventable, Open Source Software can pose a threat to your business if you are not careful with confidential information. For example, company information that is not intended for the public should not be made visible on OSS. While obvious, keeping the organization’s values safe is vital.
- Communication problems may occur when using OSS. Open Source contributors may have various capabilities, or a limited understanding of the rules when working on OSS. It’s impossible to please everyone, and you may have to disappoint contributors to maintain code integrity.
Why Do Some People Prefer Open Source Software?
There are several reasons why companies and organizations prefer OSS over other forms of software. But perhaps the most influential factors are that in certain circumstances the code is more structured and thus easier to use. Documentation is traceable, delivering clearer data and cost effectiveness can be superior to other programs.
Is open source software emerging as a digital transformation enabler in local government?
As quoted in the Crown Commercial Service, “The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the use of digital tools intended to help citizens access municipal services.” Implementing modern technology for use in municipalities could undoubtedly make the use of Open-Source Software very effective.
With lower implementation costs and a global community of problem solvers, this software could help governments deliver quality services to a higher percentage of users.
The future of OSS
The future of Open-Source Software looks overwhelmingly positive and it seems likely that larger scale deployment will only grow. The advantages of OSS seem to outweigh the disadvantages. If government organizations look to these forms of development to ensure a future digital transformation, their use will increase rather than decrease.
In summary, Open-Source Software has influenced how developers work for decades. We’re still talking about it, and it seems unlikely that it will stop. As inflation rises and the cost of living rises, this is proving to be a successful method of cutting costs but ensuring quality.
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