Open Source Software – Small IT Budgets – Solid Business Solutions

Open Source Software – Small IT Budgets – Solid Business Solutions

In my hub “Information Technology Increases Competitive Advantage – Top 3 Reasons”, I mention how businesses must incorporate a solid I.T. management to sway the balance in their favor and strengthen their competitive advantage. This hub covers how companies on a small IT budget can take advantage of Open Source Software to incorporate a solid IT infrastructure without sacrificing reliability, scalability, and security.

Open Source Software – Rock-Solid Business Solutions

Many years ago a company that I used to work for hired a great IT guy. He brought a great deal of stability to our network which up to that point had been badly neglected. My friend was a Linux guru and did all of his "stuff" at the command prompt. Needless to say, the rest of us humans were pretty intimated by Linux. If my friend was out of the office and a server needed to be rebooted, we wouldn't even know what button to push. For us mere mortals, simply put, command-prompt Linux was too much.

Open Source Software - Down to Earth

Just when I was beginning to believe that Linux was too much for me too, one of my CIS required courses in College was "Operating Systems" and half of it was an introduction to Linux --voila!! I then realized that there were not one, but many Windows-like Desktop Environments to run a Linux server similar to how you would run Windows Server 2003 (and 2008, XP or Win 7 for that matter). While using a Linux command prompt in many cases is faster, better and more secure, having a GUI available early on can prove invaluable in shortening the learning curve.

Why do I tell you about my friend, my first introduction to Linux years ago, and Desktop Environment stuff?

Simple. I want to share how I went from not knowing a thing about Linux, to seeing its rock-solid performance, to realizing that it’s really not out of reach for anyone who wants to enjoy the generosity of open source software. And it doesn’t end with Linux -the operating system itself. There are thousands of open source applications that rival in performance and scalability with their closed source counterparts.

I suspect that many companies out there that don’t have a huge IT budget are missing out a great opportunity to strengthening their competitive advantage through I.T. because either they do not know about open source software or they think it’s too complex and beyond their reach, like we used to think at my previous job.

Special Purpose Open Source Software

Following is a list of open source software that anyone can download and begin using immediately without worrying about licensing fees. This is not a how-to-install guide but rather an attempt to share some of my favorite open source applications that are time-proven and reliable and when done right can help any company gain competitive advantage one way or the other.

OS Commerce – Online Shopping Cart

Zen Cart – Online Shopping Cart

IpCop – Firewall Appliance

SmoothWall Express – Firewall Application

SugarCRM – Customer Relationship Management Software

Vtiger CRM - Customer Relationship Management Software

OpenBravo ERP – Enterprise Resource Planning

Zabbix – Remote Network Monitoring Tool

Zoneminder – Enterprise-Grade Surveillance Camera System

Zimbra – Online Collaborative Tool – Email, Calendar, Projects, etc

eGroupware - Online Collaborative Tool – Email, Calendar, Projects, etc

Bacula – Backup Software

Amanda – Backup Software

BackupPC - Backup Software

Joomla! CMS – Content Management System

Wordpress – Blog Software

PHPbb – Forum Software

Samba – File and Print Services for Windows/Linux Clients

Open Office – Desktop Publishing Software

Coppermine – Photo Album Software

MySQL – Relational Database Management Software

Increase Your Competitive Advantage

The above is just a short list of tools available to anyone who wants to strengthen their IT infrastructure on a small budget. The right IT Consulting Company can help you test and deploy some of these tools if doing so in-house is not feasible. When Open Source Software is involved and you only have a small IT budget to work with, even if you have to hire an IT Firm, you will typically deploy a solid business solution for a fraction of the cost.

Until next time, thanks for reading !

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BrianS 6 years ago from Castelnaudary, France

This is a really good list of OS software. There are a few in there that I already use and a few more I could probably make good use of. Good of you to share this.

WebTechEngineer profile image

WebTechEngineer 6 years ago from Houston, TX USA Author

Hi Brian, thanks. I am experimenting with quite a few more open source applications but this list is what I have good personal experience with. As you know, this list is just the tip of the iceberg...there are literally thousands more Open Source Apps out there!!

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