• michaelthould

When to Consider Open Source Database for Your Organisation

Updated: May 30, 2019

Moving out from proprietary software seems like a daredevil act, considering the possible data security issues some open source databases can pose. However, because of the increasing costs associated with paid license databases, IT departments have found it more practical to reconsider their data management options especially when they are working on limited budgets.

Open source technologies have been around for quite some time already, stemming from the Free Software Movement. As early as 1983, the GNU Project launched with the aim of making users collaboratively develop and provide software that is free for sharing, copying, distribution, and even modification. But it is only until recently that open source popularity has grown sharply, with companies now raving about the major benefits they enjoyed with freeware.

So is it time for you to change your data management approach to open source? As an IT manager and database expert, you need to be smart about when to join the thousands of organisations who have become open source evangelists. Here are some tips that you can use when considering a free database software.  

  1. Evaluate your in-house relational database management system or RDBMS. Are you maximising the full features embedded in the package? If you find that you’re only using three or five out of the twenty or so functions, then it is time to reconsider shifting to open source. There is really no sense in using a proprietary software with boutique features when at the end of the day, their purpose cannot be applied in your firm’s data management scheme.

  2. Consider the costs associated with paid database systems. If you need to expand and your budget cannot accommodate the development, it is best to opt for freeware. With its ANSI SQL build, you’ll have no trouble finding third-party support and good tooling options. If you plan right, the shift will bring in potential savings of up to 80 percent to your company–money that you can use to invest in other essential IT technologies that can strengthen your firm’s solution architecture.

  3. If your RDBMS has rigid structures and does not allow for customisation, it may be time to say goodbye to your proprietary software. In this highly agile world, being able to tailor your database requirements accordingly has become vitally important. Freeware allows for flexibility and freedom, making it a safer and better choice for the innovative IT department you want to run. Community support is also widespread, thereby helping you resolve issues if not instantly, far more quickly, thanks to collaborative efforts carried out by IT professionals who continue to study and develop these open source offerings.

  4. Proprietary systems always provide a direct support for the supplied product that can be purchased. It is important to make sure that an active support community exists for the open source product the organisation is using and/or support can be outsourced to a company close to the community.

While the use of open source databases is becoming mainstream nowadays, it does not always mean that it is ideal for your enterprise. Nevertheless, if you feel that your current paid software is excessively expensive and does not serve your business requirements, then you can consider deploying an open source data system for your organisation. Ideally, today it is recommended to move these workloads into a cloud offering where support and hosting come as a single offering. To get a clearer picture on this matter, speak to the Fusion Professionals team who can help you decide on which data management strategy will be perfect for your enterprise.

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