As a business owner, you have options. There are likely dozens of vendors currently flooding your inbox with a wealth of services that will help you alleviate every single pain point you might come across in your business.
However, buyer beware. Paying someone to handle one of your problems or because they said they could resolve one issue or another in your business does not mean that all of your problems are leaving. SaaS solutions are often regarded as catch-all solutions - so long as your problem fits neatly within their glove. Otherwise, signing up with them might be asking for more trouble than it is worth.
While Open Source software may require a different skill set to set up and integrate with your current business systems, the benefits of using this type of solution typically outweighs what you might get from a SaaS Solution.
One of the significant downsides of SaaS solutions, especially on an enterprise level, is the feeling of being locked into a product which may not serve you in the same way down the line. As your business grows, how much will it cost to scale your use of a SaaS solution?
Whether you are providing internal solutions for your teams, or if you are wanting to change your product to meet the demands of your client base, flexibility is critical to the software you use. SaaS solutions have you at the mercy of their production road maps. Open source allows you to make the changes you need on a schedule that works for you.
SaaS solutions are commonly produced by companies who have a vision, and are sold to clients they hope to share that vision. Open Source works in the opposite direction: the users decide what they need the software to do and how it can meet their needs. As a result, your software can change to suit your needs, rather than spending time and energy finding a new vendor who can give you what you need.
Technology experts and software developers are in high demand because they have an excellent skill set. If you are going to use an Open Source solution, you will likely need a higher-level of talent who is capable of administering and developing the software you are using. Top-talent always considers your existing software stack when they are deciding whether or not to work with your company. Being locked into a particular vendor’s software solution might limit the talent who wants to work for you. However, if you are engaged with an Open Source solution, you will find more creative problem solvers who are interested in working for your company.
You will find that open source software will ultimately benefit your company in the long run. You will find a community is always on hand to offer support and solutions, and the long-term growth needs of your company are covered. Chance are, whatever you need your software to do, there is likely an open source solution already available and ready to be fine-tuned to handle whatever task you need.
This month's update includes, along with some great contributions from the community, the much requested importing and exposing data publicly via a REST API features.