5 Ways Cloud Computing Is Like Open Source

5 Ways Cloud Computing Is Like Open Source

This Looks Familiar

When cloud computing was in its very early stages there were very mixed views as to what it would bring to the future of the IT industry. The industry was divided between the proponents of the positive and negative outcomes of cloud computing. This reaction was very much the same when open source was first introduced.

During the early 2000’s, during the great open source debate, many IT professionals put down open source in favor of proprietary software saying that something which does not undergo the rigorous testing and strict guidelines that proprietary software goes through is only good for the unimportant hobby systems; with the dangers of unaccountability and so on. Because of its lack of “professional ability” large companies still favored proprietary over open source. But we all know the outcome of this –open source won and almost every IT organization now uses open source material to a degree. Even a lot of proprietary software uses open source components.

The Similarities

We all know how things panned out for cloud computing. Spoiler alert, it got embraced by the industry and is now seen as the future of the business world. Though it looks to be smooth sailing for cloud computing for at least the foreseeable future, let us check out some similarities that cloud computing shares with open source software.

1. Cloud computing is very accessible. Just like open source software which can be downloaded and used without any problems as long as you stick with doing what the license says, cloud computing also brings accessibility. But before that, do you remember why software piracy became rampant in the first place? No? Well it was because proprietary software was very hard to acquire back then. Everything had to be paid, even developer copies required payment of some sort and no one would be able to get one unless they would talk to a sales representative. Now here comes open source alternatives to those software which anyone can just download and use, for free instantly so this garnered open source preference among developers. Cloud computing is cheaper.

2. As noted above, software vendors tend to go overboard with developer copies of proprietary software. And here comes open source which just didn’t cost less, it is actually free. Now, most cloud computing services come at a price, but compared to getting a similar service using traditional networking, it would be very prohibitive because of the costs, which includes the hardware, its installation, and the installation of related software in workstations. But cloud computing evens out the playing field between large and small businesses by giving access to small business applications and services that large companies enjoy at a very affordable price because they only pay for what little they use and use it immediately without the need for time consuming installations. Plus most cloud applications are web-based so all you basically need is a web browser to be able to access the application from virtually anywhere.

3. Cloud computing promotes experimentation and innovation. Because proprietary software is expensive and support for it can only be given by the vendor, people tended to be fearful in making changes or switching to other technologies. But with open source software, there is virtually no fee and support for it is being provided by a whole community of like-minded developers and innovators, so it actually becomes better. This allows for more experimentation with other open source software because there is no great cost to changing or shifting from the old software. This is also true for cloud computing. As the costs are low and installations are hassle-free, organizations tend to experiment with different combinations of services which could somehow promote innovation. Because the prospect of developing something new for people to try with just a few dollars, this will really foster further innovation in cloud computing.

4. Lowers the cost of uncertainty. With proprietary software, organizations become conservative when implementing for the long run as they need to be sure how the investment would stay with the company and how it will grow with the user base. Open source sort of removed this uncertainty because if ever more software is required, it can just be added without much cost, probably only for training and installation. Cloud computing follows this track because of its scalability. You can start off with very little need and very little costs and scale that upwards as the need arrives. Even if one application may no longer support new processes, the organization can simply avail of other services. This ensures that uncertainty is kept at a minimum.

5. The cloud gives the same challenge to the industry that open source did. As open source changed the way that the industry interacts with software, for example talking bugs with a community of other developers rather than calling the vendor’s help desk. We also had to accept that not all open source software may be as polished or compatible as with proprietary ones, but they simply need a little tweak, nothing hundreds of developers around the world cannot solve. Cloud computing is certainly following in the shoes of open source. The problem now is if organizations are willing to go through the troubles of changing how they do things. Change is certainly one of the most intimidating things around.

So there you have it. Cloud computing is changing the way we go about our business and interact with customers, just like what open source did for those same organizations and the developers around the world. Are you ready to embrace this change? I know I am.

By Abdul Salam

Abdul

Abdul Salam is IT professional and an accomplished technical writer with CloudTweaks. He earned his undergraduate degree in Information Technology followed by a postgraduate degree in Business Informatics. Abdul possess over 3 years’ experience in technical & business writing with deep knowledge in Cloud Computing, VMware,Oracle, Oracle ERP, Cloud ERP, Microsoft Technologies and Network Communications (Cisco, Juniper). Visit his LinkedIn profile at: http://linkd.in/TtFu7X
FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle+Share

5 Responses to 5 Ways Cloud Computing Is Like Open Source

  1. Hi Abdul, 
    There are indeed some similarities wrt accessibility and the fact that the software one uses does not need to be updated by the user, someone else will do it at no additional cost.  But if you’re referring to SaaS applications (as I think you are), the analogy kind of breaks down after that, right?  For example, Salesforce.com takes quite a customization effort to integrate it into a large corporation.  This is expensive and is quite a revenue stream for SFDC and associated consultants.  Also, while functionality can be added to platforms like SFDC through their API, there isn’t really a community of unpaid developers hacking on the code of the platform itself (in the same way as developers contribute to Mozilla or Linux).  Also, switching costs between SaaS apps are not zero.  They may not be as high as switching from SAP to Oracle, for example, but the costs are there.  Lastly, experimentation is cheap with SaaS, but there have been a number of studies that have shown that corporate-wide adoption of applications like SFDC are on a par with their installed equivalents.And so, while an alluring observation, I think that the analogy breaks down pretty quickly once we scratch below the surface.
    Having  said all that, there are aspects of cloud computing that ARE open source – Open Stack being a good example.  

    • Cloud is really starting to change a lot of company system, so its up to the company what service provider they will be embracing and how much budget they can take. But cloud definitely has a promising system that everyone can use.

Join Our Newsletter

Receive updates each week on news, tips, events, comics and much more...

Advertising Programs

Click To Find Out!

Sponsored Posts

Sponsored Posts

CloudTweaks has enjoyed a great relationship with many businesses, influencers and readers over the years, and it is one that we are interested in continuing. When we meet up with prospective clients, our intent is to establish a more solid relationship in which our clients invest in a campaign that consists of a number of

Popular

Top Viral Impact

Cloud Computing Adoption Continues

Cloud Computing Adoption Continues

Cloud Computing Adoption Continues Nowadays, many companies are changing their overall information technology strategies to embrace cloud computing in order to open up business opportunities.  There are numerous definitions of cloud computing. Simply speaking, the term “cloud computing” comes from network diagrams in which cloud shapes are  used to describe certain types of networks. All

Cloud Infographic – The Power Of Cloud Disaster Recovery

Cloud Infographic – The Power Of Cloud Disaster Recovery

Cloud Infographic – The Power Of Cloud Disaster Recovery Preventing a Cloud Disaster is one thing. Recovering from a disaster is a whole other area of concern. Today’s infographic provided by CloudVelox outlines some best practices and safeguards in order to help your business make more informed decisions. About Latest Posts AbdulAbdul Salam is IT

Cloud Infographic – Big Data Survey: What Are The Trends?

Cloud Infographic – Big Data Survey: What Are The Trends?

Jaspersoft Big Data Survey Shows Rise in Commitment to Projects and Decline in Confusion Nearly 1,600 Jaspersoft Community Members Participate in Second Jaspersoft Big Data Survey San Francisco, February 4, 2014 – Jaspersoft, the Intelligence Inside applications and business processes, today shared results from its Big Data Survey. Nearly 1,600 Jaspersoft community members responded to

Can I Contribute To CloudTweaks?

Yes, much of our focus in 2015 will be on working with other influencers in a collaborative manner. If you're a technology influencer looking to collaborate long term with CloudTweaks – a globally recognized leader in cloud computing information – drop us an email with “tech influencer” in the subject line.

Please review the guidelines before applying.

Whitepapers

Top Research Assets

HP OpenStack® Technology Breaking the Enterprise Barrier

HP OpenStack® Technology Breaking the Enterprise Barrier

Explore how cloud computing is a solution to the problems facing data centers today and highlights the cutting-edge technology (including OpenStack cloud computing) that HP is bringing to the current stage. If you are a CTO, data center administrator, systems architect, or an IT professional looking for an enterprise-grade, hybrid delivery cloud computing solution that’s open,

Public Cloud Flexibility, Private Cloud Security

Public Cloud Flexibility, Private Cloud Security

Public Cloud Flexibility, Private Cloud Security Cloud applications are a priority for every business – the technology is flexible, easy-to-use, and offers compelling economic benefits to the enterprise. The challenge is that cloud applications increase the potential for corporate data to leak, raising compliance and security concerns for IT. A primary security concern facing organizations moving