If you already know about the document management software, then refer to the Introduction To Document Management Software before buying and implementing one to your enterprise, the obvious question that will come to your mind is, are open source DMS reliable? Well, no doubt, the question is serious and it cannot be answered with simple yes or no reply. That is why it is a big question for everyone to know.
If we list the major concerns over open source document management software (DMS), the top 5 concerns we list are:
- They are not free of cost and the implementation can become costly.
- Open source DMS’s require hiring expensive specialist to get the system running smoothly
- Due to its continuous contributory development, users experience gets disturbed with perplexity, confusion, absence of clarity.
- Most of the time open source DMS get abandoned and orphaned by the main developers and programmers
- Open source DMS is on its own, no one has the obligation to take it forward.
Contemporary benefits of open source document management software
Given the concerns, here we try to list up the proven benefits of open source document management software, which are:
- Rare arrangement for licensing fees
- Easy to manage
- Real time based improvement, upgrade and maintenance possibilities
- Higher scopes to turn it into specific company requirement based
- Better scopes to understand engineering skills
The purposes and objectives of open source
As from above you can see that there are equal number of benefits and problems associated with the open source document management software. However, the idea of Open Source, as started back in 1980’s, was to make software repository for human civilization that truly nurture and culture the conviction of global knowledge management. According to Timo Koponen, a research scholar at Kuopio University, Finland; the open source movement advocated for freedom to
- Run a program for any purpose
- Study a program’s ins and outs, adapt it to fulfill needs
- Improve to benefit community
In that respect, open source software programs will always be in a free and distributional platform where everyone can make their contribution and software will gradually become superior in quality, functional capabilities and performance with everyone’s contribution. Now, when open source movement is defined with this respect, it would be hard to expect the open source software to run equally satisfying like the commercial ones. Open source is more on knowledge management than commercialization of software.
Research findings in open source DMS usage
A recent study reviewing the functional features of some prominent open source DMSs with commercial DMSs has revealed that there are three prime reasons for organizations to prefer OSN DMS. According to them, it is the organizational need and at the same time it provides organization a growth in communication.
First of all, it says, companies willing to go paperless will never be able to go paperless though all the companies will try to benefit from the concept of being paperless. DMS’s limits the use of paper but it also connects on the possibilities of pushing information beyond where traditional paper management could not reach.
Secondly, whenever we are talking about DMS, we are talking about the lifecycle of different technologies, platforms and coding integrations. Open source leaves the door wide open for everyone to extend the lifecycle while for licensed DMS, this may not come true. Any commercial failure with a product of a software system vendor can get the company internally so crippled to offer service to its existing products and customers. There are incidents of companies winding up soon a few of their products becomes commercial fail and their successful products service get compromised. It happens mostly due to the high cost intensive nature of developing new system and software.
Thirdly the most important aspect is the repository. You will not have any control over the repository choice for your documents but in open source DMS the scenario is different. Contributors look into having more repositories integrated with software which means better structure, safety and security for you.
The gimmicks behind non open source DMS
- They are conditionally open and most of the time, they are vendor locked
- To focus on high capability they avert risk adding more hardware and shoots the cost up
- For business secrecy they do not follow linear approach, instead, they capitalize on making things complex and validate their support or after sales service
- They are more caring about their product than customer requirement
Looking back at the objectives of open source document management software, we find a requirement for security, traceability, organizational ease and collaboration. Opting for open source solution makes it right choice being a quality product that is continually improved by real users from real user perspective and with no cost association.
Before you opt for open source document management software, call for some preparation and validation of your requirements. Certainly, the open source DMS will prove reliable. Try M-Files, DocPoint Personal or PaperPort Professional and see the professional difference yourself!
Therefore, finally, for open source document management software, they are reliable due to their evolutional character, easy dissemination and standardization and sustainability. Enjoy!