Many experts have argued that it is a good idea to always rely on open-source software. However, it is important to make a sound, objective decision when choosing between free and proprietary software in terms of common characteristics based on the interest of the business.
Free and Open-Source Software (FOSS) is obviously free at the point of purchase. However, before your company can consider FOSS as a competitive option relative to proprietary software, particularly in terms of the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the software, you must take into account a series of other key factors and recommendations.
These factors must be analyzed in order to help the company clarify its choice of one type of software or the other. They might find plenty of instances when it is best to use a service like AR software development solutions.
All of them are presented in this article. You might see why it can often be a better decision to buy proprietary software than go open-source when you start a business.
Why proprietary software might be better than open-source
Your company has to consider mainly the following factors when choosing whether choosing between open-source and proprietary software. Here are some reasons choosing premium software applications might be better.
More nuanced applications
First of all, you must be clear about your company’s needs and limits in terms of functionality. You also need granular insights on the areas where proprietary software is likely to outperform and where it may not. There are some misconceptions on this point.
When acquiring software in general, there seems to be a tendency for certain SMEs to “acquire oversized and expensive solutions, thinking that they will ensure competitive advantages”, which is not always the case. The real benefit of proprietary software is not that it is more sophisticated, but rather that is more adapted to your specific needs.
Open-source software contemplates global needs and is not necessarily regionalized by country, so it may include inappropriate or useless functionality for a national context. If you want to use applications that are geared towards local challenges, then you might be better off paying for a premium application or software development company.
Ideal for companies with defined business models
Your company must also consider the degree of innovation it intends to achieve and the level of maturity of its business model. As proprietary software restricts innovation to a great extent, for innovative companies or startups, open-source software may be appropriate, since they can also adjust it together with their business model.
However, for companies with a defined business model, which does not require major changes, proprietary software may be more appropriate. Companies in highly rigid or regulated industries might find propriety software is better or even necessary.
In order to have technical support, it is recommended to select software that has the right amount of support available. Proprietary software publishers usually offer better support since they have a financial incentive to improve customer service.
Potential for a lower total cost of ownership
Free software obviously has a low acquisition cost compared to proprietary software. However, you must also remember that the TCO also includes the cost of technical service and maintenance. Therefore, at least one regional provider of these services must be identified for open-source software, in order to allow the business to compare the cost of these services with those provided for proprietary software.
Also, aware of the high acquisition cost of proprietary software for many companies, some companies have made it available at more affordable costs. With all of this in mind, the long-term cost of proprietary software might indeed be lower than the cost of owning open-source software applications.