Our Flagship Product: Synapse

The Power of Open Source Technologies

In the world of technology and development, there are two camps: Open Source & Closed Source. Closed source is development and coding that’s usually made behind closed doors, hidden from the outside to prohibit anybody else viewing or using the code for their own personal gain. Open source is code that’s publicly available for anybody to see, add to and learn from. 

There are pros and cons for both types. The value of well-written code is, and should be, high. Traditionally companies made their money from selling software, so it made sense to hide what made them unique and keep those benefits for themselves. Nevertheless, open source technology has revolutionised the world of technology by making it a collaborative, accessible place. 

In its infancy, the idea of open source wasn’t welcomed into the online world. Microsoft’s former CEO, Steve Ballmer, called Linux a ‘malignant cancer’ and suggested it infringed on the company’s intellectual property. Under new leadership, Microsoft is now the world’s biggest open source contributor and paid $7.5billion to acquire GitHub, one of the most popular places for open source resources, last year.

This U-turn is industry-wide. The programmes you might be using on a daily basis are open source. Linux alone is the power behind the backend of the internet, powerful supercomputers, your own mobile phone and AI applications. WordPress, another open source platform, runs millions of websites online. Firefox is the second most popular browser in the world.

The world of business is shifting. It’s no longer about protecting the assets that have been developed entirely in-house, but using the resources of millions of collaborators to create a product or platform that works in the best way possible. 

Zinc have used open-source software as a part of our development for each one of our four proprietary systems; Admin247, Sygnal, Synapse and Synergy. Although we have a team of talented in-house developers, we recognised that limiting our options to a small team instead of learning and benefiting from the millions of online developers wasn’t a smart move. As a team who have built our organisation around the concepts of innovation, entrepreneurship and excellence in development, we knew that open source was the way to go. 

Red Hat’s State of Enterprise Open Source survey has shown that these ideas are quickly becoming the norm. Their study found that 99% of IT leaders thought that open source software was at least ‘somewhat important’ to their enterprise IT strategy. Whether they know it or not, the biggest names in tech are using open source in some way, shape, or form. 

The true beauty in open source is the freedom it offers. As a business, the idea of being able to give our customers the functionality they need without dedicating hundreds of hours of development time is a win-win situation. We start with open-source, and use our developers to make sure it works in tandem with our existing systems and client needs. 

If you’re interested in talking technology with a team that understands how to deliver a product that will work for you, get in touch with Zinc. We can’t wait to hear from you.

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