In the world of enterprise IT, closed, proprietary systems from commercial vendors have long ruled the data center roost. Now the rise of software-defined networking, network functions virtualization, and cloud computing is changing that. Open-source platforms and software are becoming increasingly popular choices in enterprise computing environments. Not all IT decision-makers are on board with open-source yet, however. You may find digital security concerns at the heart of resistance to the idea of open-source. It may surprise your customers to know that open source can, in fact, improve digital security rather than weaken it, as is commonly feared.
Software vulnerabilities can create serious security challenges that enterprises are typically powerless to address in a proactive fashion. Instead, organizations using the software depend on the software developer to find and fix the vulnerabilities and release software patches in a timely fashion. Commercial software developers typically allocate more budget and more resources to the development of new products that can bring in new revenues than they do on continually patching software for customers who have already made their purchases. For this reason, software developers are not always the first to discover existing vulnerabilities—and when cybercriminals discover vulnerabilities first, they have a field day finding ways to exploit those vulnerabilities in order to breach enterprise digital security.
The very nature of open-source communities makes early detection and resolution of software vulnerabilities much more likely, for a variety of reasons. First, members of open-source communities tend to also be power users of the open-source software that they help create, and those users have strong motivations to continue to support and improve the software long after the initial install. In addition, the very nature of open-source communities enables IT talent within the user organizations themselves to contribute to the resolution of issues. Instead of remaining dependent on the software developer's investment in continued software support, enterprises with qualified staff can take a proactive stance against security vulnerabilities.
Additionally, open-source greatly reduces concerns about the cost and timeliness of technical support when issues arise with the software. Instead, IT personnel can go directly to the open-source community behind the software in question for assistance and troubleshooting, in many cases drastically cutting the amount of time and expenses needed in order to resolve issues.
Open-source software looks set to be increasingly mainstream in the enterprise. As a value-added reseller, you may need to adjust your sales strategies in order to fit your customers' new needs and continue growing your business. For ideas on how you can do so, speak to an Ingram Micro specialist today.