The appeal of free software is understandable. But, companies should know the problems.
It can be an exciting time for your business to sign up for new free software. But once the honeymoon is over, it can rise to the surface issues that you didn’t see before. Obviously this can be very frustrating, but for the next time it’s good to know. Discover five reasons why you should avoid your free software in the future!
Companies of all sizes embrace free software and its benefits. Sometimes, however, it makes better business sense to choose proprietary software.
Consider this: The 2018 Open Source Security and Risk Analysis Black Duck by Synopsys analyzed over 1,100 commercial codebases and found open source components in 96 percent of scanned software, with an average of 257 open source components per application. In addition, the open source codebase average percentage increased to 57 percent from 36 percent in 2017.
Several IT and open source experts also said they saw this trend, but they also noted that many organizations are still struggling with open source software issues and how best to manage their OSS adoption and use.
You hate free software?
Symptoms include, but are not limited to, IT headaches, extreme frustration, and a strong urge for the company to make a telephone call with slang.
The free software, in all seriousness, has the potential to result in cost damage, loss of productivity, and unhappy employees and customers. Make sure that you’re not stuck with a bad one!
Here are some of the reasons you should consider before you want to use free software for your business.
- Underestimating the Cost of ownership
According to Wikipedia, Total cost of ownership means: “TCO analysis was popularized by the Gartner Group in 1987. The roots of this concept date at least back to the first quarter of the twentieth century. TCO is applied to the analysis of information technology products, seeking to quantify the financial impact of deploying a product over its life cycle. These technologies include software and hardware, and training.”
Cost is arguably one of the most important considerations for small business owners. Consumer buying behavior in our country, people are very sensitive to price. Many companies promote misleading prices or offer packages with confusing pricing structures. On top of this, there are often hidden fees and charges the user may not discover until it’s too late. Check some cost below:
- Set up fees
- Integration fees
- Hardware fees
- Add-on fees
- Support fees
- Cancellation fees
- High credit card processing rates
Consider all these costs before moving into using any free software, which may drain your money in long run.
- Comes with a contract of unreasonably long duration
We all know the value of a good contract, but that’s not a marriage at the end of the day. You shouldn’t have to suffer with a software that doesn’t deliver value. Whether your software is simply outdated or customer support is taking a turn for the worse, you should be free to leave as soon as you are no longer satisfied with the service.
Many clients reported us that, their previous software provider forgot them after passing a tenure of time. But, they had nothing to do beyond their long-term contract.
- Lack of documentation and support
Unfortunately, without support, most free or open source software is provided. This means that the developer may or may not feel like helping you with this problem if you have a problem with the software. (I say maybe because some people help their users even if there’s no financial advantage.) So if you’re one of those people who need regular technical support then free software isn’t for you.
There is always manual or software documentation for users to read and help with your problem, but with free software unfortunately there is no guarantee that either even exists.
- Security Problem
The main drawback is the weakness of security. Free software vendors also offer the worldwide opportunity to disassemble their software and find all possible ways to hack it, offering open source product to your customers.
This is the key point why big players will never use free software. It’s less problematic for small and medium-sized businesses. For now, they’re not having such a great competition. The key point is that their information is not needed by anyone. So they don’t have to worry about the issue of security. Using free software solutions, SMEs save a lot of money. If necessary, they simply switch to a proprietary vendor of software.
- Bad user interface
With the user experience in mind, good software is designed. It is not suitable for your business, if your software is not suitable for your least technical staff member. A bad system software will result in loss of time and productivity, frustration and possibly extra money spent on supporting customers.
Software as a Service (SaaS) : Alternative to free Software
What if you didn’t have to purchase the software to use it? What if the vendor assumed responsibility for implementation and maintenance and provided you with easy-to-use tools to adapt the system to your unique needs?
SaaS solutions often have total ownership costs (TCO) that are identical or lower than open source. How is that possible? SaaS solutions providers are not selling the software; they are renting it. That means no upfront customer licensing fees.
By installing the system on their own servers, SaaS providers achieve incredible economies of scale. They all have servers that do exactly the same job — cheaply and reliably. All customers need to access them is an internet connection — the cost of owning and maintaining servers is removed.
SaaS vendors also achieve tremendous operating efficiencies. They simply install the software for all customers once. Similarly, software updates are installed once and are applied to all clients without any effort. What could make this easier for technical support than having direct access to the computers running client data?
In conclusion, a company must understand what it expects from its software as it weighs the open-source decision. Fortunately, this is how more firms approach TCO. They do thorough, company-specific examinations of how the software will be used, by whom and for what purpose instead of just looking at the software price. Such questions should bring a user of software much closer to its true costs— and deliver a healthy dose of realism to the “free” software debate.