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It’s 2017. Can You Run A Business Fully On Free Or Open Source Software?

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One of the best ways you can make sure your business succeeds is by cutting costs. A penny saved is, after all, a penny earned. As the owner, you probably have gone to the furthest extents to cut all unnecessary expenses, but have you taken a look at the software you use to run your business and tried to save costs there? Did you know that there are applications and software out there that could carry your business’ workload and not cost you a single cent?

Free and No Sacrifices

Do you need to sacrifice performance or the value of your products by using free software? No! For every paid application you have installed on your computers, there are a handful of free applications that offer you the same, if not better, quality of results.

What are the Categories?

Let’s have a look at their major categories of available software:

  • Server operating systems
  • Desktop or laptop operating systems
  • Applications

We’ll focus on one application per category, but you should know there are tons of software out there that you can easily research and find online.

Server Operating Systems

Linux is the world’s most popular open source server operating system (SOS) in use today. Since it’s open source, there are various options for you to consider – if you look hard enough, you’ll find a flavor of Linux SOS that can meet all of your business’ requirements.

Among the different versions of SOS that are Linux-based, Ubuntu is one of the most popular.  Everyone from web hosting service providers to small businesses use it today. It’s easy to install, use and administer. If you need any help, there’s a global army by way of the open source community out there waiting to give you a hand.

Desktop or Laptop Operating Systems

If you really want to cut your desktop operating system costs, you should also jump on the Linux band wagon. Again, there are so many Unix-based OS packages available, you’ll have a harder time choosing which is your favorite as opposed to whether it can perform as you expect it to.

Linux OS are secure, light and sturdy. Once installed and configured, you will have an OS that will make you happy forever. The best version? Linux Mint – this OS has been and remains the most loved of desktop operating systems.


This is the category that holds the most options for you. For every application you use, there are a myriad of alternatives.

Let’s have a look at two sub-categories:


The most commonly used applications around an office are word processors, spreadsheets and presentation applications, for example. Ask anyone what they use around the office and one name probably pops up. But, there are alternatives out there that would put it to shame. The best and easiest to use is WPS Office. If you’ve used a similar application, you’ll have no problem switching over, since it mimics the programs you’re already used to.


Apart from your work applications, you need to consider your security and install antivirus software. While the general consensus on which antivirus is the best swings from one to another every year, there are usual two contenders each time: AVG and Avast. If you have a powerful machine, some would recommend installing both. Others might call it overkill, but you can make up your own mind.

So, Is Open Source Software for You?

You’ll need to figure out if free, open source software is right for you business, but know that it is entirely possible to use.

If you’re left wondering what to do about other services your company relies on, like payroll, HR, or accounting software, you can also find various free options online. Luckily, it’s 2017 and almost all services can be fully automated, managed and secured with free, reliable software. Do your research and find the programs that are right for you!




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