If you are an organization providing IT project management services, why would you use open-source solutions and what are the long-run strategic and operational issues of such an approach?
There are several factors that contribute to proficiency and success in any business or non-profit organization irrespective of the nature of the products or services that the firm is dealing with. The operational decisions and leadership approaches that a firm adapts immensely determine the performance of the organization with respect to quality, competitive advantage, reliability and accessibility of the products and services that the organization offers. It has been observed that the operational strategies in most organization are the fundamental issues that help in achievement or attainment of the organization’s goals and objectives (Harold, 24-32).
Assuming the position of an organization providing Information Technology, there are numerous issues that the management of the organization need to consider to ensure that the performance of the organization has been achieved. Some of these issues are reflecting on the quality of the services and products that the firm offers, the rate of acceptable from the customers to the technological and software inventions that the company offers, accessibility and reliability of the products and services that are linked to the organization (Eric, 65-81). This paper therefore targets at investigating the benefits of Open-Source Software Solutions with respect to quality and reliable product or services provision, and improvement of the performances of the company. It will also consider the long-run strategic and operational issues of Open-Source Solutions to the organization and to the customers.
Open-Source Software Solutions
This is computer software that has a source code that is developed and availed to users and licensed with an open source license whereby the copyright holders provide the clients the rights of study, modification and distribution of the software to anyone and with no defined purposes. It is software that is usually developed in public and in a collaborative approach, and it’s considered to be outstanding example of open source development (Jay, npag).
Currently, Open Source Software is viewed as the most critical operational tool in almost all companies due to the uncountable merits that organizations get from applying or integrating the tool in their operations. Open-Source Software incorporates several components with inclusion of the telecommunication systems, accounting, individual productivity applications and inventory among others such as operating systems which are all relevant and most essential elements in any organization’s management or performance. Integration of Open-Source Solutions helps significantly in development of application blocks with the help of java developments (Payne, 61-78).
All these applications and software aim at reducing cost for the organization, improving quality of performance and helping the company meet as many clients as possible, thereby, increasing sales for the organization which consequently leads to growth and expansion of the organization. Some of the benefits that the organization may incur if it integrates the Open-Source Software solutions in its operations are as discussed below.
Benefits of Open-Source Solutions to an Organization
Integration of the Open-Source Software in an organization has several advantages that trigger the management of such an organization to adapt and keep connected due to such benefits. Open-Source Solutions lowers software costs in the sense that it requires no cost or incensing fees in the sense that there is no maintenance costs with guarantees the organization of continued enjoyment of other benefits of the tool at no cost. It has been observed that the only operational costs or expenditures associated with the software are such as media, documentation and continuous support where necessary. Thus, I would encourage my organization to adapt the tool to improve and maintain high performances at lesser cost.
It offers an easy license management because once an organization obtains the software, it can be installed in several locations and in as many times as management may like. This guarantees competence in operation considering the fact that every department or sub-organization associated with the company will be able to enjoy the operational benefits linked with the software (Michael, 277-304). There is no need evident for counting or tracking or checking out for license compliance.
Open source solutions lowers the hardware costs since they are elegantly compact and portable and therefore they require less hardware power to meet its operational work just as workstations which may require higher hardware costs. In addition, it have been observed that Linux and Open-Source applications often scale significantly and considerably. It offers multiple options for load balancing, applications such as database and emails and options associated with clustering which consequently gives the organization the ability to scale up and allow new growth, hence offering the flexibility characteristics (Fadi & James, npag).
The other benefit is that the Open Source Solutions support is always available and accessible through online community with the help of the internet. In addition, many Tech Companies are offering a responsible support to the open source solutions with free online and uncountable levels of paid support. Moreover, Open Source Solutions serves as a declaration of freedom of choice in the sense that it helps in reducing the frustrations linked with vendor lock-in which is a problem to most IT managers or organization providing IT management projects.
Open Source Solutions helps in offering unified management with consideration of the argument that some specific open source technologies like Common Information Model and Web Based Enterprise Management usually provide the competence to incorporate service, applications and workstations management for huge, potential, and powerful administrations. This helps in assuring competence, reliability and accessibility of the services and products offered by the organization with the aim of providing IT management projects to different clients.
Lastly, the Open Source Solutions offers quality software to organizations and this is reflected from the many reviews and articles which propose that the open source software is a good to in any management or organization due to the followed benefits associated with quality (Muffatto, npag). The source code is free and developed in public and this tries to convince people of the efficiency and appropriateness of the software in terms of quality.
Considering the long-run strategic and operational issues allied to open source solutions, the designers and managers of the software are planning to improve the working relationship and the nature of interaction by the users thereby promoting open communication to the supply-chain parties. They are aimed at developing long-term strategic relationship orientation to achieve the common goals of improving the working standards and performances of the organization (Landry, & Rajiv, npag).
However, regardless of the numerous benefits connected with open source software or solutions, there are several criticisms directed towards the software. Some of these critics are claims like open source is not really free as there are some minimum costs allied with installation and licensing of the software. Others claim that there is no service and support from other IT and Tech companies which is just but fake propaganda. Some argue that the software is not secure, while other suggest that there is no training incorporated with the use of the software. Therefore, it is essential to consider the fact that the open source solutions improves performance and need to be adapted by organization to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
Eric Verzuh. The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management (Portable Mba Series). New York: Prentice. 2010, 65-81
Fadi Deek & James McHugh. Open Source: Technology and Policy. London: Cambridge University Press, 2008
Harold Kerzner. Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling. New York: John Wiley. 2009, 24-32
Jay Leslie. Is Open Source Right For Your Organization. 2012, (Online) http://www.idealware.org/articles/open-source-right-your-organization
Landry, John & Rajiv Gupta. "Profiting from Open Source". Harvard Business Review, 2000
Michael Gallivan, "Striking a Balance Between Trust and Control in a Virtual Organization: A Content Analysis of Open Source Software Case Studies", Info Systems Journal 11, 2001, 277–304
Muffatto, Moreno. Open Source: A Multidisciplinary Approach. Imperial College Press, 2009
Payne, Christian. "On the Security of Open Source Software". Info Systems Journal 12 (1). 2002, 61–78.