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Open-SourceInnovation is the commodity that drives the modern enterprise. In today’s global marketplace, organisations in any sector and every industry face unprecedented competition from all sides, and being able to deliver a unique and valuable service is key to differentiation. As such, technologies that empower organisations to innovate should be considered invaluable for both growth and success in a crowded market.

In the past few years, Open Source technology has stepped into the limelight of mainstream business, and its potential for catalysing innovation and creating more collaborative working environments is becoming more and more clear. In this blog, we’ll explore the value of Open Source network monitoring software as a tool for innovation and collaboration in enterprises.

Open Source software enables organisations to be more agile.

For many, ‘Open Source’ and ‘free software’ are two sides of the same coin. While it isn’t necessarily quite as black-and-white as that in reality, investing in Open Source software is typically less financially intensive than proprietary software. Spending less on software means more funds can be allocated to projects and activities that encourage collaboration, such as hack days and team-building exercises. Lower financial commitment also means it’s easy to try out new software without making a long-term commitment – if it isn’t a good fit for your organisation, just uninstall and move on to something else.

Open Source software is also useful for creating Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) or Proof of Concept (PoC) for a new product or service – by removing the financial commitment that usually comes with software, your staff are free to be more innovative, having the potential to make your organisation more profitable as a result.

Open communities breed innovation through collaboration.

One of the principles most closely tied to innovation is collaboration. Collaboration among departments, companies and even industries has resulted in some of the most unexpected and revolutionary innovations in areas as diverse as medicine, engineering and IT. Many Open Source software products have dedicated and passionate communities of collaborators all around the world, often working around-the-clock on iterating, improving and innovating on the existing software.

The true value of Open Source communities, in terms of innovation, is the diversity of its contributors – Open Source projects make it possible for anyone, anywhere in the world, to take part in the development and improvement of software. Often, contributors might not be programmers or IT professionals by trade, resulting in unexpected and often innovative solutions and new features.

Open source network monitoring software enables greater customisation

As networking and interconnectivity become increasingly central parts of our personal and professional lives, service providers who can deliver innovative and uniquely beneficial network services will come out on top. To function at their peak, today’s network environments require specialised, custom solutions. Open Source network monitoring software makes this easy in a few ways: firstly, the variety of options available makes it easier to find a product that caters to the specific needs of the network environment in question. Combined with the fact that many of these products have large and active contributor communities, finding a relatively specialised solution with little investment from your side is easier than buying into proprietary software.

Lastly, the open nature of Open Source software means it’s possible to take action on any ideas for tweaks, improvements and new features – as long as you have the resources to experiment with customising the code to suit the specific needs you’re dealing with, there’s no limit to what you can achieve.

IRIS is a network monitoring systems provider with over a decade’s experience in the Southern African ISP and telecoms industries. Our innovative and uniquely scalable network monitoring solution uses both proprietary and open source software, in order to meet the needs of our clients, no matter how specific. To find out more about IRIS, view our software demo here.

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