Trying something new is for some people a terrible thing to do, and it’s even more frequent when we talk about organizations.
I am a strong believer in open source, for me the open source software give your organization the flexibility required to evolve with the market. When I think open source, I think Drupal, WordPress, but mainly LibreOffice and Linux.
To adopt these tools you need a lot of open-mindedness, courage, and vision, because a lot of concerns are expressed when we talk about open source. Based on my short experience, it seems that these concerns are more based on beliefs than on anything else :
- Support I personally find that’s easier to obtain support from an open source project that from a closed source one. The problem is : you need to experience it to believe it !
- Security There is a misconception about open source and security. It’s not because your source is open that you are more vulnerable. It simply means that a lot more developers are able to work on a security issue.
- Compatibility It is true that LibreOffice is not 100% compatible with Microsoft Office. It’s close, but it’s not 100%. Does this mean that we can’t exchange .doc files with people using Microsoft Office. Of course not, it means that we need to take some precautions before sharing a document but when you think about it. And in the end, either you need to collaborate on a document and you need a collaborative tool like Google Docs, or you just need to send the final version of a document, in which case you are better of sending a PDF. The same goes for presentations.
- Total cost of ownership It is very difficult to find reliable sources to explain why changing your work habits and tools can lower the TCO. I guess that I will write another post in the future to talk about this subject. In a nutshell, I believe that the flexibility gain you obtain using open source are such that your TCO will be lower on the long term.