The best companies do everything they can in order to increase their influence and give back to their respective communities. It's a big part of the reason why a huge chunk of software companies contribute to open source. In fact, on popular open source platform Github alone , millions of developers are actively contributing to over 35 million projects.
In our post on ‘ Why You Should Contribute to Open Source Projects ’, we discussed some reasons such as developing new skills and sharpening existing ones to getting involved with a community. There is definitely a lot to gain professionally and personally from doing so for developers. However, contributing to open source projects also has significant benefits for companies as well. Businesses in California, in particular, should consider doing so because:
Open source helps lower costs
Running a business is a costly endeavor, no matter where you decide to start. However, the owners of corporations and LLCs in California suffer more than most, as the state has the highest income taxes among the country, going up to 13.3%. Business owners also need to pay annual franchise fees and other taxes, so owners can’t be blamed for wanting to cut costs however they can. As such, many businesses have turned to open source projects because it’s a low-cost alternative that can be customized to suit particular needs pretty quickly. Since they are developed through community forums and collaborative ventures, with developers donating their time and expertise, businesses have little to no expenses in terms of paid expertise, or expensive branding or marketing programs. It's also worth mentioning that compared to a single vendor, which can be pretty costly when you have to migrate to new software, open source offers you the certainty that no matter what happens to an individual vendor, there will always be others who can offer support.
Open source can help improve quality
California is one of the most tech company-dense areas in the country. This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, as it is home to Silicon Valley, which is the United States' center for innovative technology companies . A lot of businesses in the state are leaders in their particular industries, especially in the software industry. That is why California businesses must ensure that their service or product must be of the highest quality to survive and thrive in this competitive market.
Open source projects can definitely help improve the quality of software, because of its collaborative aspect, with developers who are ready to contribute, review, and test projects quickly. By contributing to open source projects, businesses are also able to reach beyond company boundaries and deliver better outcomes to their clients.
Open source makes businesses more agile
Business agility, not to be confused with agile development, is the ability to quickly respond and adapt to market changes and emerging opportunities with innovative business solutions. Open source helps businesses to be more agile by speeding up software development and driving innovation through shared knowledge and ideas from a more diverse set of sources than with proprietary software. Open source also makes your business more agile by reducing the amount of redundant development that takes place. And California businesses are subject to various risks such as market fluctuations and competition. Therefore, businesses should aim to be as agile as possible to be able to address these risk factors head-on.
Open source can boost company image
Investing in or contributing to an open source can have a significant impact on your company image. Since these projects primarily live in open repositories, free for the world to see, they function as an indirect way to showcase what you can do, thereby earning your company some stripes. By making your open code public, you're essentially creating a public portfolio that offers insight into your expertise and capabilities. In addition, you also get the chance to connect with a community that shares a common interest as you, allowing you to both learn and help others, as well as expand your network.
Open source makes businesses more secure
With a new report that California tops states with the highest number of data breaches and records lost, enhanced security should be a top priority for businesses operating in the state. And luckily, another benefit that open source brings to businesses is that it makes them more secure. Many of those not familiar with open source may doubt this because of the misconceptions that open source is inherently not safe because of less vendor accountability, but the truth is that open source apps are among the most secure on the market. Unlike proprietary software, open source projects are transparent about potential vulnerabilities as they offer full code transparency. Your company can always take part in a code review, and then either stick with the previous version, release your own patches or even disable certain functionalities until security concerns have been addressed.