Open source software offers an intriguing prospect for businesses: fully functional software at zero cost. What's more, the utility of these applications is growing, as the culture of open source becomes more prevalent and more developers are willing to offer up their wares for free.
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But the age-old adage that there’s no such thing as a free lunch is as applicable to open source software as it is to a steak from a greasy sales rep reaching for your cheque book under the table: although you can download, install and use these applications at no up-front cost, in the long run they can generate quite a hefty bill.
The reason for this is support. The teams that put these apps together typically don’t have the resources or the inclination to guarantee that your deployment will work hassle free. So while a traditional software vendor can send out a support crew to your office to fix up any configuration or integration hassles, this simply won’t happen with an open source organisation.