When individual developers think of open source, they think «free.» And with good cause: Who in their right mind wouldn’t be interested in technology that they can get at no cost and use with few licensing restrictions?
When companies think of open source, these days they think «business agility,» a quality they increasingly value above all others in the fast-changing marketplace.
The ability to create new applications quickly, reliably and economically is drawing businesses big and small to open source and emboldening them to use it for ever-larger projects, IT practitioners say.
Which is likely why open source’s popularity is booming (with a few holdouts). According to the Forrester Research report «Development Landscape: 2013,» 76% of developers have used open-source technology «at some level,» says Jeffrey Hammond, a Forrester analyst specializing in application development and delivery.
Open source keeps costs down
Cost savings may be only part of open source’s allure, but it’s still a big part, no matter what size the organization. «How can Netflix charge as little as $8 per month for its service?» Hammond asks. «Because everything is built on open-source software. They focused on content, not building an operating system or a testing framework.»