Lodahl's blog: Open source is not about cutting down expenses

23 October 2007

Open source is not about cutting down expenses

The general discussion about the use of open source software like OpenOffice.org very often comes around talking about money. And most people expect that cheap (in this case very cheap) software is poor software. In some cases this is actually true, but not in all cases. There are lots of software projects that serves high quality applications for you.

Open source is not about cutting down expenses but about spending money where you get value.

Lets take a look at one of the most popular open source projects, OpenOffice.org. Compared to Microsoft Office, this project is a little bit less feature rich. But what's the difference, when your employees haven't learned how to use the application that you bought so expensive ? Nothing. A much more valuable choice could be to implement OpenOffice.org and I say implement. Not just install it, but actually make sure that everybody who needs to know, will know. Teach them how to use it. And you will find that the actual result will be, that OpenOffice.org will increase productivity, because the number of usable features is higher. You have gained more value.

Another thing to consider is, to begin thinking about collaborative software. Take the Office thought a little bit further. How about spending money on collaboration instead of fancy features in desktop applications. Features that we use because they are there - not because we need them. If you implement OpenOffice.org and spend the license fee to buy good and solid software like Software from IBM Lotus, you will see your employees work together and find them think as a team instead of individual pieces. The jigsaw will soon show a very pretty picture: Pieces will come together.

Open source software is not about cutting down, but about spending differently.

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