Industry Insights

Either you’re with us, or against us: Open Source or Proprietary

Jade Carter

By Jade Carter

June 18, 2015

Hippo CMS

Written by Hippo CMS.

There’s an age-old battle battle we’re fighting, and everyone’s got to choose a side. Either you’re with us, or against us: either you’re Open Source or you’re Proprietary…

It’s a tempting narrative, and definitely a fun way to start a really exciting debate. But in the enterprise Web Content Management space, it just really doesn’t hold up. The truth is that the debate over Open Source or Proprietary software for the enterprise isn’t a clash of ideologies. At Hippo, we’re proof that in enterprise software, things aren’t quite so black and white.

Here’s the secret: Open Source and Proprietary are not sworn enemies.

Time and again, we’ve said this: pitting open source versus proprietary rests on the false premise that licensing model is indicative of quality. Furthermore, it ignores the existence of Commercial Open Source  as a viable option for larger businesses that want the technical transparency and flexibility of Open Source with the support and security of an enterprise system. Let’s be honest—there might come a time in a business’ growth when the free version of an open source CMS no longer provides all the features needed. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up the scalability, integration power and customizability open standards offer.

It’s a false dichotomy

Open versus closed source is not quite the either/or it’s presented to be. The debate requires nuance. The fact that governments and businesses are increasingly choosing open source solutions for the quality of the code is a testament to the professionalism, skill and teamwork of the greater open source community. It’s great to see the quality of products that open standards help innovate increasingly recognized. But as enterprise-sized organizations recognize the practical benefits of open source, it’s unsurprising and logical that they’d want the support and security of any other enterprise system. It’s here that Commercial Open Source can bridge the gap, and ensure that software built on open standards is a viable option for even the most expansive organizations.

It’s about agility and flexibility

Community is the backbone of open source—it drives innovation, provides much needed vigilance for the quality of code, and constantly reminds us that the benefits of technology are something we strive for together. Here at Hippo, our amazingly responsive community is crucial in helping guarantee the best experience and service to our customers. But it does not do so alone. An open source community is an amazing resource, but especially for the enterprise, it does not have to come at the cost of professional services.  We believe very strongly in our open source community edition. But we also recognize that our many of our enterprise clients –though they love the open architecture, the flexibility of integrations, the scalability and yes, the community that Hippo offers—need the guarantees of a professional support team. 

Open Source Means Code Transparency

Selecting a WCMS is a big decision, with long-term strategic implications. It shouldn’t be a shot in the dark. We believe businesses should have as much information as possible when making their choice. Because we’re open source, we don’t just give prospective clients a sales pitch-- we hand them our code and invite them to look under the hood and see for themselves what they can innovate with Hippo CMS.

Just because Open Source vs. Proprietary is a nuanced conversation, doesn’t mean it’s not an extremely exciting one. Hippo’s CTO, Arjé Cahn will join CMS Connected on June, 30 to represent Open Source CMS in this “battle for the ages.” Gauntlets will be thrown. Smack will be talked. Don’t miss it!
Jade Carter

Jade Carter

Jade is a content writer for CMS-Connected, facilitating the needs of the company blog. Bringing 10 years of Search and Digital Marketing to the table, he strives to build informative, relevant and fun editorial posts for the blog feed. Jade is an ultra distance (26.2 miles+) trail runner and lives to run trails in and around his home town of Victoria, BC.

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