Open Source - Bundling benefits together
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Open Source Software being cheaper vis-a-vis proprietary software and the low cost reason of the same is one of the primary incentives for people across the globe for Linux adoption. There have been surveys which have revealed low cost as the topmost reason for people to convert from proprietary software to open source.
There have been reports from all over the world indicating that Linux forms are a very niche market and it needs to be served right. Amazon recently reported that Linux laptops are selling pretty fast and out of the top 12 models, 10 have been Linux based! All this takes us back to our initial discussion point of open source being cheaper and virtualization being the wild card. In today's changing IT scenario, companies virtualize and consolidate as part of their strategy to accommodate change; thereby replacing proprietary software to reduce licensing costs.
Open source also gives the access to the source code (companies unable to modify it is yet another debate) and this helps in reducing vendor lock-in, which has become a primary concern today. The growth and popularity of the Linux platform is majorly due to Product Marketing and this cannot be achieved without a strong price-to-performance benefit.
Considering the Total Cost of Ownership Model hardware compatibility and ability to run Linux on x86 hardware instead of other costly machines tips the scale in favor of open source. Also, the open source helps increase savings to a great extent. Open source application vendors have confirmed the fact that over a period of time the equipment costs were 87% less than the proprietary products. Other prime benefits include Open source product database such as MySQL offering 40% savings over proprietary rivals such as Oracle, Microsoft and IBM because of ease of usage and administration resulting in lower labor costs. But with "conditions applied". These conditions are not really to scare individual users and companies but to make a point that these savings are only possible if one has the expertise to get the full benefit.
It is of utmost importance to rule out the notion that Linux is "the latest thing" and a "prime money saver", but stress on the fact that application in real business to streamline the operations is of more significance. The proper deployment methodology will further help in achieving lower cost and improved security. Other factors governing a company's ability to negotiate discounts, its technology maturity model, architectural models are key contributors to get the bottom line benefit from open source.
At a time when people are tightening their purse strings and are wondering about the correct way to save their money, Linux based architecture if applied correctly and radically could equate to quite a boon for IT managers and their budgets. Linux based platforms and open source applications are a true bargain because they get a better bang for the buck. What do you say? Pour in your comments.