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Why to choose an open source cloud software?

Temps de lecture estimé: 5 minutes

Open source cloud software can be a very appealing, superior solution. Let us discuss why and in what case.

How to choose the right software?

Deciding on a new software is always challenging. Typically, you would use the following criteria catalogue to find out which software is suitable for your organization.

  1. Feature set and usability: Does the software offer all features needed? And is it user-friendly?
  2. Technology: Do you want to self-host the software or would it be hosted in the cloud? Are you using Windows or Mac? Should the data be in a SQL Server instance, or Oracle? Do you require customization?
  3. Data security and privacy: Whether self-hosted or hosted in the cloud - What measures and processes are in place to make sure you have control over your data and it is secure?
  4. Costs: What is the total cost? This includes licensing fees, hosting or hardware, implementation, maintenance, training and support.
  5. Software provider reliability: Does the provider have a good reputation? How long has the product been in the market? Do they innovate and extend and improve the software regularly? Does the provider have industry expertise?
  6. Compatibility: Does the software work with your existing legacy systems?
  7. Implementation, support and training: Can it be done in-house or does it come at an extra cost and when is support available?

The most important criteria for a software

First of all, a software of course needs to fulfill your feature requirements. But the next question you have to answer is the one about data security and privacy.

When you are using a software, your critical data about customers, business processes, employees etc. will become vulnerable. A data leak can compromise your whole business. Hence, data security and privacy should be one of your most important criteria when looking for a new software.

The other criteria need to be considered as well but in this article we focus on the important topic of security.

Data security of on-premises and cloud software

When it comes to security, the hosting option plays a significant role.

An on-premises software offers the highest security level and allows to comply with regulations (e.g. in the healthcare industry) because you have full control over your data. It also offers the flexibility to customize, i.e. you can add or change code to meet your needs. Customization also results in more control over how information is processed and stored, you can e.g. improve or add security features yourself. This option though requires a very knowledgeable and security-sensitive IT team to implement and maintain on-premises software securely.

Alternatively, software can be hosted in the cloud and is easily accessible from the web-browser (SaaS) or you simply use a private cloud provider and run your software from there. Cette option donne à l’utilisateur la possibilité de se concentrer sur ses affaires, et laisser les experts faire l’hébergement. It can also be a very secure option because the provider’s full time role is the security of the cloud. We give you some tips on the best practices for SaaS application security so that you know what to look out for when choosing a provider.

Data security of open source and proprietary software

The other technical aspect that has a big influence on your data security is whether the software is open source or proprietary.

A considerable advantage of an open source software is the great freedom that the open source license grants users and developers. Tout le monde a accès au code d’un logiciel Open Source. Thus it can be more thoroughly reviewed by the internal development team and in addition by the community and errors spotted earlier and issues solved faster and more diligently. De surcroit, la communauté travaillant sur le code guidée par des experts, il peut être plus robuste grâce à un plus grand nombre de tests. Moreover, open-source software is transparent about potential vulnerabilities.

You might think that proprietary software is more secure because the code is not accessible. But that does not hold true. Past attacks have shown that proprietary software with all the data that it is processing is an attractive target. And the risk of proprietary software is that the vendor is the only responsible who has to be on top of the security vulnerabilities. Thereby, you rely on an in-house team of developers that can never be as big as an open source community and thus certain vulnerabilities will slip through and there is a risk of missing out on mistakes and bugs in the code. Proprietary software means you have to trust the vendor blindly. This also includes the aspect of a vendor lock-in. It can become very costly to migrate to another solution after everything has been set up and users are used to using a specific software.

When is open source cloud software the superior choice?

In terms of data security, we discussed that open source software is the superior solution.

Cloud hosting is best suited for organizations that do not have the capacity or knowledge to self-host. En outre, les organisations qui veulent que la flexibilité soit étendue ou réduite en quelques secondes devraient aller avec le logiciel cloud. Et bien sûr, les entreprises qui ne veulent pas encourir des coûts fixes élevés pour l’infrastructure et l’équipe informatique bénéficient d’une solution cloud.

Make sure you choose the right cloud provider that offers highest security standards and make sure they implement best practices in terms of data security.

Overall, an open source cloud software offers a lot of flexibility and can at the same time provide highest security if the provider is chosen carefully.

OpenProject is secure open source cloud software

OpenProject is the leading open source project management software and is available on-premises as well as in the cloud. For us, data privacy and security is of highest importance. Cloud-based or on-premises, we provide enterprise-grade security for the safety of your business assets and the protection of your personal data.