NI Businesses Urged To Avail Of Free IT Solutions

Businesses in Northern Ireland have been encouraged to take advantage of the significant cost-savings on offer through incorporating aspects of over 475,000 free open source software projects into their IT processes.

Speaking at a recent industry seminar at Belfast’s Merchant Hotel, Ivan Waide, IP and technology solicitor at Corporate Law firm A&L Goodbody, suggested that whilst businesses had previously preferred to purchase software from large industry vendors, the dynamic adaptability of open-source systems is making them a truly competitive alternative to those traditional solutions.

He said: "Companies are increasingly realising the potential of being 'ahead of the curve' on open source. A strategic investment in open source as part of their overall IP management could reap real rewards. In conjunction with thorough risk-assessment to ensure compliance with the licence requirements, use of open source code could enable firms to leverage significant savings and increase the flexibility of their systems."

Open source software differs from traditional forms of software because much of it is available for free, subject to a licence indicating the terms under which it can be modified and used for commercial purposes. In total, open source projects available today are comprised of approximately 100 billion lines of code. Everyday devices, such as mobile devices powered by Google’s Android operating system, are built on open source code. The New York Stock Exchange also uses open source programmes as part of its IT infrastructure.


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