Mostly as a result of the fact that it’s become better to pretty much completely outsource your business’ IT solutions as a result of them needing to be of a specialised nature, in this day and age if yours isn’t an IT business then there’s ordinarily no need to house full time IT staff on your payroll. There should be no half-measures though. As much as it’s okay to have something like a general IT guy who solves all the user-level challenges that crop up, if you’re not going to have a dedicated in-house IT staff then you should go the full nine yards with your solutions.
Go fully open source as mixing it up with some commercial software solutions would defeat the purpose of going open source in the first place. For example, since Open Office allows you to save documents in Microsoft’s Office suite formats and it allows you to open and view those formats as well, why would you need to buy some Microsoft Office suite licenses for some of the computers in your business? Keep in mind that you would need a license for each machine on which this software is deployed…
So I guess I’ve already implicitly introduced Open Office as an open source software solution to deploy in your business, but I beg to get into a bit more detail about it. So with Open Office the primary aim was indeed for machines running the Linux operating system in the many different flavours it comes, perhaps the most popular of which is Linux Ubuntu (well, after the Mac OS).
Basically Open Office is the open source version of Microsoft’s Office suite and it works just as well. It’s freely available for download and if you can’t solve any problems you may come across via the many Linux forums or by Googling the solution then you’ll have to pay a very minimal fee for the support offered as part of the open source model.
I seem to be introducing open source software solutions by reference, but that’s okay I guess and the next open source solution which is recommended for your business is indeed that of the Linux operating system. Linux Ubuntu in particular is recommended, which will mean that you don’t have to pay the implicitly heavy licensing fees for deploying Microsoft’s Windows OS, but since Ubuntu is indeed a growing project (although it’s admittedly in very advanced deployment stages), this will give your in-house IT staff a great opportunity to form part of its continued development.
Otherwise it’s a great operating system based on the Linux Kernel.
Open Source Software Forums
Merely jumping on a specific but broad-based open source forum like that which discusses Linux Ubuntu developments, solutions and further open source offerings will open you up to whole new world of community-based software deployment. You can run your business very smoothly and without any IT hiccups entirely on open source software because there’s a specific solution for anything and everything you need. If you can’t find one, there is an open source option for your in-house IT staff to develop, tweak and customise to your specific needs.