Key Advantages and Disadvantages of Open Source Software

Jim Machi : Industry Insight
Jim Machi

Key Advantages and Disadvantages of Open Source Software

advantages and disadvantages of open source.JPG
Dialogic recently commissioned STL Partners to find out more about how service providers view open source software in their networks.  We went into this project understanding there are pros and cons associated with the use of open source.  This study goes into some more detail. Here is an abridged version of what we found:


Overall, the key advantages stem from the ability of open source software to drive “agility” such as customization, time to market, and experimentation. 

Customization: With open source, service providers are able to customize their software to their needs, and the market's needs. This customization also helps companies to differentiate themselves from competitors.

Time-to-Market: In the time-to-market area, it’s possible to modify the source code immediately without having to engage with the proprietary vendor. New releases that used to take months can now be done in weeks or days.

Experimentation: Open source is ideal for experimentation because it’s customizable, source code changes take effect immediately, and it’s at the best price (free).


Customization Can Jeopardize Support: However, the ability to modify the source code leads to one of the key disadvantages as well, which is that you need to have dedicated people to support the code.  It’s your responsibility especially if you have modified it, which means you might end up spending more money than you initially planned.

Level of Support: Unlike proprietary software, most open source initiatives do not come with any structured support. They often even rely on contacting the developer directly.

Intellectual Property Concerns: Many people also expressed intellectual property concerns. It can be difficult to and expensive to ensure full compliance with all of the different open source licensing terms, and that can lead to litigation. Although,  that is not an issue unknown in the telecom world.

For the full details on all of the advantages and disadvantages listed, and telecom operators’ attitudes toward Open Source, click here to request the full report.

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