Open source is so popular and widely used that there are people who are using it daily without even realizing it. There are people who use WordPress, one of the most popular open source platforms, for blogging. There are many who use Mozilla Firefox, another digital contribution from open source, for browsing. Open source development services are highly demanded by enterprises across various industries.

As a matter of fact, a survey by Black Duck last year revealed that 60% of the surveyed businesses reported an increase in the use of open source in 2017.

Despite the wide acceptance and popularity, open source technologies are heavily criticized by many. Many myths surround the technology and many people believe those myths and misconceptions are true. Here are 5 such open source myths that people still believe to be true.
 

It’s free

 
The ‘free’ of open source technologies relates to ‘freedom’ i.e. open source technologies tend to have fewer restrictions than their proprietary counterparts. People think it’s all about the monetary cost and ‘free’ means it wouldn’t cost them anything.

However, there are free (literally) open source technologies available but they may not be the most up-to-date or feature-rich. Typically there wouldn’t be any licensing costs for open source software. But there are exceptions to this as well. The bottom-line is that not all open source is free, and not all free open source is good enough to make a difference for users.
 

Large companies don’t use open source tools

 
Open source tools, especially open source software, has been used by organizations of all sizes since the early 1990s. Corporate giants like Microsoft, Google, IBM, and many other companies use open source tools in some form. Open source software development is a big industry with an ever increasing number of developers.
 

Open source software aren’t secure at all

 
Many organizations refrain from using open source tools due to the misconception that they are less secure than proprietary software. This wrong notion is mostly due to the fact that the source code of an open source software is openly available to anyone who wants to tinker with it. This increases the likelihood of black hat hackers figuring out a vulnerability to exploit.

But this isn’t the whole truth. Contrary to public perception, open source codes also serve as a way for many open source experts to verify the integrity and security of the code i.e. security vulnerabilities are more likely to be detected, reported, and removed.
 

You can’t always count on support for open source software

 
It’s true that some open source software don’t have a long lifespan. These software “die” once the community backing them leaves them behind. It’s the community itself that provides the biggest support for open source technologies. It’s pretty much the same for proprietary software as well. The company that developed the software may simply stop providing support one day, and move on to a more lucrative project. Popular open source software with a reputation will likely still have a community backing it, ready to help anyone with technical issues.
 

Conclusion

 
These are but a few myths around open source software. It isn’t as unreliable as many people still seem to believe. It’s open source technology that powers quite a lot of popular platforms that have proven their worth across various industries. An enterprise can have a customized open source software developed to drive business growth efficiently and securely – something that can do the job just like a proprietary software can but more cost-effectively.

Written by: Ajeesh Azhakesan

Internet of Things is growing faster than initially expected, transforming businesses along the way. IoT essentially opens the doors to many possibilities for businesses like innovative ways to connect with customers, converting data into forms suitable for decision-making, and even creating new avenues for enhancing customers’ experience. What’s actually quite surprising is the influence of open source technologies on IoT.
 

Analyzing the Scope of IoT

 
IoT isn’t actually something now. It’s been there for a long time – Military, Space Research etc. But once it crossed over to impact the consumer sector, IoT gained huge popularity. The fundamental goal of IoT is to change the way people interact with the world. It’s not just data that keep increasing. The scale of devices around us is huge. Pretty much everything generates data now i.e. data have become ambient.

IoT now influences many sectors including medical sector, manufacturing, industrial automation, and security. But when you consider its scope, it becomes quite apparent that IoT is still far from achieving its true potential. In the case of enterprises, the main hindrance is the challenges they face. This is where open source comes in. So far, open source managed to provide progress for the technology allowing it to become the disruptive trend it is now.
 

Why Open Source is Right for IoT

 
One of the most dominant platforms in IoT is Linux. You can find a lot of IoT devices running open source operating systems. Data centers serving IoT devices also prefer open source as it ensures interoperability and essentially future proofs the ecosystem.

Experts predict that enterprises will be investing considerably more on IoT this year, though there are still concerns about interoperability. According to a report by McKinsey Global Institute, interoperability is vital for the progress of IoT adoption in enterprises. The total potential economic impact of IoT, as cited by the report, is estimated to be between $3.9 trillion and $11.1 trillion a year by 2025. Interoperability certainly makes a significant difference in the estimate.

Considering the importance of interoperability, we can safely say that open source is a must-have for sustaining the growth of IoT market. Majority of the IoT platforms today make use of the cloud on software-driven architectures. Open source already dominates the cloud emphasizing its importance once more in the IoT ecosystem though the system comes in both open and closed standards at present. So as to meet the needs of a wide array of consumers and stakeholders, interoperability between the systems involved is inevitable. This further adds to the value of choosing open standards.

Apart from this, many businesses are questioning the choice of relying on proprietary platforms to establish IoT, as those platforms are likely to disappear in the near future or might become too sophisticated to interconnect. Many surveys already claim that most of the respondents are betting on open source platforms for their IoT projects.
 

What it Means for Developers

 
The number of IoT developers also keeps increasing every year, and the count is estimated to cross 4 million by 2020. A good number of IoT developers also favor open source. For these developers, enterprise IoT proves to be more challenging and complicated than consumer IoT, as there will be more sensors involved in an enterprise application. Making applications customizable is a challenge for the developers as well.

Open source IoT and its advancements allow them to overcome most of these challenges and create solutions that promise immersive experience for customers. The enterprise software developers are provided with more opportunities to effectively design and develop enterprise IoT applications, essentially contributing to the overall prolific growth of the Internet of Things.

Written by: Ajeesh Azhakesan