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Should A Company Select Proprietary, Open Source, Or Free Software For It’s Most Important Information Systems?

1434 words - 6 pages

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Should a company select proprietary, open source, or free software for it's most important information systems?

Open source software is the type of software that companies should elect for all their most important information systems. For starters, it is one of the most cost effective types of software. It's customized software so you can change it to meet all of your most valuable needs. It is constantly evolving keeping the companies technology up to date. Open source software does not require a new upgrade for features. Simply expansion on what you already have.

While companies may use any combination of proprietary, open source, and free software, the most important business information systems should be a form of open source software. Open source software provides a basic infrastructure that companies may use as a "skeleton" to build a program that is designed to specifically meet their needs. Not only is it cost effective but it may also reduce the time needed to carry out basic functions. Open source software allows companies the flexibility to create and modify software to meet it's own, unique, and constantly changing demands.

From a business perspective, one might suggest that open source software requires another employee to modify and explore software functions and capabilities. On the other hand it also gives the business world the advantage of customized software without the specialized costs incurred by an outside company to create and produce such a program. Free software promotes the use of constant upgrades and new features which can be costly, especially considering that ninety percent of it's users have little or no use for a majority of the functions included. Proprietary software is geared towards marketing objectives, checklists, and management agendas.

Embedded sources have become increasingly popular in recent years. According to Matthew Aslett (2009), "An embedded source strategy is often used by proprietary vendors to lower development costs while tapping into the experience and expertise of a wider community." If proprietary developers are using open source then why do we have a need for a middle man? Why not just take the project by storm and use open source to create our own version of software that allows us to build a system unique unto itself? Wikipedia states, "The main advantage for business is that open source is a good way for business to achieve greater penetration of the market. Companies that offer open source software are able to establish an industry standard and, thus, gain competitive advantage." In a world where competitors strive to gain the upper hand in their industry, constant evolution is a requirement, not a luxury.

One may also suggest that open source software is based soley on the perspective of a developer and does not...

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