Shellstack is primarily a cloud consulting company but we are also big advocates of free and open source software. All our employees use Linux on their workstations. We truly believe in the FOSS philosophy and have helped many small to medium size companies to save a fortune by implementing free and open source software. “Open source software” refers to computer programs that are distributed with their source code intact under a license that allows anybody to inspect, edit, and improve the software. FOSS (free and open-source software) is well known for its capacity to strengthen small businesses. It accomplishes this by offering inexpensive, scalable, and cutting-edge solutions that are suited to their specific needs. The vast majority of open-source programs are created collaboratively; it is freely available intellectual property.
Open-source software is currently widely accessible on a global scale. Some, like WordPress, Linux OS, and Mozilla Firefox, completely altered the game in their respective fields and rose to the top. Regarding corporate solutions, there are several open-source options available for payroll, accounting, time management, and other areas.
What Open Source Software Can Do For Small Businesses ?
Open-source programs are commonly referred to as “free software.” Developers are free to use and alter the source code. FOSS can have a significant impact on small businesses in a variety of ways, from cost savings to spurring creativity and all in between.
Ownership At A Lower Cost
All functions are present because there are often no upfront costs associated with obtaining or installing open-source software. Even if some open-source software does require a monthly cost, it is typically less expensive and offers greater value in general. Unlike closed-source software, FOSS can be freely downloaded, used, and upgraded with no upfront expenses. For small firms with tight budgets, this financial respite can alter everything by enabling them to devote resources to other crucial areas.
Security And Durability
Every organization must prioritize security. When compared to closed-source alternatives, FOSS frequently demonstrates greater security standards due to its public and collaborative development methodology. However, the availability of developers to address faults improves the efficacy and efficiency of every application-related process (often before business users like you even notice them).
Freedom From Vendor Entrapment
It might be problematic when a company depends on a particular source for all of its software requirements. Small enterprises are freed from this vendor reliance thanks to FOSS. After employing open-source software, you can always find alternatives and choose the one that best meets your needs without having to worry about signing a contract or paying any kind of charge.
Lifespan And Resilience Sustainability
When proprietary software is decommissioned, businesses may face the issue of shifting to new alternatives. In contrast, FOSS is based on ideals of durability and sustainability. Because of this, any instruments utilized in conjunction with this kind of software system and accord should be sustainable. Therefore, there is no need to frequently update programs or apps because the OSS community constantly pays attention to the requirements of businesses to make sure that applications provide everything that businesses require.
Adaptation And Customization To Specific Needs
FOSS has a distinct benefit in that it gives users the ability to modify software to suit their individual requirements. FOSS offers unmatched flexibility, whether it’s customizing an open-source Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to fit with a business’ sales process or changing an e-commerce platform to work with pre-existing inventory management. Small firms may customize the software to precisely meet their needs thanks to its adaptability, which ultimately increases production and efficiency.
Community Forum And Support
A multitude of information and support resources are available through online forums, manuals, and user groups. However, when you utilize the program and expand your company, you are also contributing to the improvement of the whole system. The fact that many FOSS projects offer for-profit support services helps to bridge the gap between the benefits of open source and the need for expert assistance.
Budget Friendly and Manifestation Of Freedom
Even for tiny organizations, FOSS developers can modify the source code to provide new features that provide custom applications. Since they are so inexpensive, companies can find a different solution if their present open-source software fails to provide the needed features. FOSS users also do not have to worry about a vendor or owner taking away a characteristic or tool. By providing transparency, the open source software freedom statement defends users.
Available Different Open Source Alternatives to Proprietary Software
Open-source software is available in a wide variety of forms that your company can use. The most alluring perk of doing this is that you can typically download and use it for nothing.
Alternative to Atlassian Stack
Atlassian makes great software, there is absolutely no doubt about that. Jira Software, Confluence and Jira Service Management are the best solutions for project management, wiki and help desk, but the cost of these applications can be too much for a small company as Atlassian charges their users on per user per month basis. The benefit of deploying your own open source alternative is that there is no per user per mont fee and you can host them on small servers. The alternatives can be:
- Redmine (Don’t worry about the UI, it can be transformed into a modern looking UI)
- XWiki / Outline Wiki
Alternative to Slack
Slack, again an excellent tool for team collaboration but the per user per month fee can be too much for small companies. A great alternative to Slack is Rocket.Chat. You can self host it on a small server which can handle up to 300 users.
Alternative to Enterprise Resource Planning
Software for enterprise resource planning (ERP) is intricate and can be highly expensive. However, there are open-source equivalents to SAP and Microsoft Dynamics. ERPNext and Odoo are great alternatives and their implementation cost is also way less than SAP or Microsoft Dynamics.
Alternative to Salesforce
SuiteCRM is a great Salesforce alternative. It comes with a number of powerful features such as the ability to generate invoices and quotes, maintain leads and contracts, produce reports, maintain notes and documents. Additionally, you can also take advantage of SuiteCRM as a two-way communication tool by setting it up to allow your users to log and track their own issues.
How Can ShellStack Assist Small Firms With the Cost Effective Deployment of Open Source Software ?
Small firms can benefit from a variety of advantages provided by free and open-source software, including cost savings, flexibility, and innovation.
Shellstack has deployed many open source solutions like Odoo, Rocket.Chat, GitLab, Redmine (customized), NextCloud and Alfresco and has helped companies save thousands of dollars annually. Having expertise in cloud infrastructure design and architecture, we design and implement the infrastrcuture required to run these software on multiple cloud providers such as AWS, Google Cloud, Azure, DigitalOcean and Linode.
If you are looking to implement a CRM, Project Management System, Wiki, ERP or a collaboration suite or need help in deciding the best solution for your company, reach out to us with all the details and we would be happy to assist.