Current pressures on companies which require software to run their business
Over the last few years, it has been observed that desktop and laptop sales have been slowing down in favor of tablets and mobiles. This shift in technology led to a lot of side effects, one of them being declining revenues and profits from the sale of software to the desktop and laptop segment. This in turn has led to commercial software vendors tightening their control over the licensing of their products to maintain a continuous growth of revenue and profits. These tightening of controls include random audits of their business customers to ensure that more licenses are not used than what has been bought.
In case of a significant difference between the licenses bought and the number of software used, there is a loss to the customer (i.e.) if the licenses bought were too low, they would have to pay penalties to the vendor or if the licenses bought were too high, they have wasted money on them. To avoid these type of issues, the business using the licenses would have to adopt one more process known as SAM (Software Asset Management). The higher the licenses used, the higher the complexity of the process. This complexity is an add-on to the complexity of the purchasing process.
These complexities seem to be unavoidable unless we start considering the root cause (i.e.) the need to buy a software which is essentially locked down to a monopolistic vendor for that particular software.
One of the answers to reduce these kind of complexities would be to use Open Source Software (OSS). Let me give a small and simple explanation on what is an Open Source Software. OSS is the software created by anybody who knows how to create a program and the source code (the code behind the program or executable) is "open" for anyone else to view, understand and improve it.
There are no restrictions on this software apart from those which prevent anyone else to restrict this software from others. There are multiple type of licenses which are used by OSS to keep it open such as "GNU General Public License". There are multiple OSS which are currently used by the public such as VLC, Mozilla Firefox, different versions of Linux, etc.
Note: Open source works are generally free to use though this need not always be the case.
Watch this space for my next post on the subject of OSS