Open and closed software. The advantages of proprietary versus open source.

Blog  — Mon 17 Apr 2023

Many people consider open source software an ideal solution because of the freedom, transparency and collaboration it brings. Yet open source software also has some disadvantages. Therefore, since we deal with it a lot, this time we highlight the advantages of proprietary software, also known as "closed software" or closed source software.

Of course, the closedness is limited to the legal aspect, where the source code is limited or not accessible and protected by copyright. The reason for this is because the creator of this software wants to protect his or her investment. After all, it takes a lot of time to create good software; just like a chef, then, you don't just give away "the recipe.

While open source software has many advantages and plays an important role in the software community, closed software is equally important and all around us. In fact, there are several advantages, such as warranty and support, usability, efficiency, advanced business functionality and more up-to-date security and compliance.

It is important for companies and organizations to carefully evaluate the needs of their specific IT environment and business processes to make the right choice between open source and proprietary software, taking into account, for example, the advantages of closed software listed below:

  • Warranty and support: Unlike open source software, proprietary software often comes with formal warranties and professional support from the software developer. This means businesses can count on technical support and help with any bugs or technical issues that may arise. This can facilitate business operations and minimize downtime. Although open source software exists with support options, these are always offered for a fee from a commercial company. Open source software simply does not provide support guarantees.

  • Usability and intuitive interface: Proprietary software is often designed with a focus on usability and can provide an intuitive interface that is easy to understand and use, even for users with no technical background. This can reduce the learning curve and increase productivity because employees can learn faster and use the software more effectively. On the contrary, the configuration and customization of open source software can be complicated and often requires technical expertise to understand and use it effectively. This can lead to higher training and implementation costs for organizations looking to embrace open source software.

  • Efficiency and optimization: Open source software is often written to fit every situation of every individual or organization. As a result, it frequently contains "overdesigned" components and unnecessary functionality. This comes at the expense of usability, performance and security due to an unnecessarily large attack surface. Proprietary software is often optimized for performance and efficiency because it is developed with specific goals and requirements in mind. This can result in faster load times, better performance and less power consumption, improving overall system efficiency.

  • Advanced business functionalities: Proprietary software can often offer more advanced business functionalities tailored to the specific needs of businesses and organizations. This can include advanced reporting and analysis tools, CRM functionalities, HR management or accounting tools, for example. This can help companies and organizations operate more efficiently and achieve their business goals. These links are often only possible based on a legal agreement that open source software cannot provide.

  • Enhanced security and compliance: Proprietary software often comes with advanced security measures and is regularly updated to address potential vulnerabilities. With open source software, this is often significantly delayed or missing altogether. This is because this aspect of software is an entirely separate "line of business. Also, other partners in your chain may require you to meet certain certification requirements that cannot be offered if you are working with open source software.

While open source software can certainly have its benefits, it is advisable for businesses and organizations to also include the unique advantages of proprietary software in their consideration. With guarantees, professional support, usability, advanced features and enhanced security and compliance, proprietary software can be a reliable choice for businesses and organizations seeking high-quality and efficient software solutions that meet their specific business needs and requirements.