Open source is consuming the online world. Today it’s a springboard for innovation in digital technology and is backed by some of the largest and most powerful companies in the world. Not only are these companies using open source technologies, but they are open sourcing their own code as well. From financial giants like J.P. Morgan and mega tech companies like Google and Microsoft, to global NGOs like Greenpeace and even the U.S. Government — all of them have growing and prosperous open-source practices.
The open source advantages are irrefutable. Inherently flexible, extensible, and incredibly easy to manage, open source provides users with easy integration abilities and leverages the power of collaborative development. And, most importantly, it’s free.
Open source is changing the face of digital, but how does this impact the entire company, the non-technical positions? Well, quite simply, in the age of digital, there are no non-tech positions. Everyone is affected by digital changes, which means everyone can benefit from open source.
Internet users today have an insatiable appetite for a more customized, dynamic web experience. Digital marketers can address this need head on by leveraging open-source software. With a growing number of open source marketing tools, content management systems and not to mention the opportunities in open data, open source is empowering marketers to take their brand’s digital experiences to the next level.
According to the 2016 Future of Open Source survey, 90 percent of respondents reported that open source enhances interoperability, efficiency, and innovation.
“Open source today is unequivocally the engine of innovation,” said Paul Santinelli, general partner at North Bridge, “whether that’s powering technology like operating systems, cloud, big data, or IoT, or powering a new generation of open source companies delivering compelling solutions to the market.”
The very principles of open source — collaborative, open, transparent, and free — fuel innovation. Open source equips marketers with the agility to navigate the quickly changing digital landscape. Open-source software by nature provides easy integration with software, and will continue to in the future, allowing digital marketers to easily adapt to technological changes.
There are currently hundreds, if not thousands, of open-source tools and platforms that marketers can benefit from directly. If a problem or opportunity is identified, then the open source community works together to create a resource to fix it.
With new digital trends emerging daily, brands must experiment with emerging technologies early and often. With closed solutions, this type of experimentation isn’t possible — both from a cost and time perspective.
As the IoT space continues to evolve, we will witness the evolution of new, innovative open-source IoT options.
Open source makes perfect sense for IoT technology for several reasons. The internet of things is quite simply a world of connected devices. It’s the idea that different technology can communicate with one another to change the way we operate. Openness plays a huge role in ensuring that devices are easily interconnected.
Open standards foster the interconnectivity that the IoT aims to achieve, which offers huge benefits for digital marketers. Essentially as IoT devices communicate, they are exchanging information, building more robust profiles about users. Marketers can use this data to deliver a more personalized experiences to users.
Content is still king
Your website is still the most important part of your digital strategy. It’s the glue that pieces together all digital efforts and directs your brand’s focus. Digital marketers can harness the power of open-source content management systems to gain a competitive advantage and faster time to market. The most popular open-source CMS is WordPress. Not only is it used by more than 27 percent of the entire internet, but it is also the choice for leading brands, school systems, and nonprofits.
With WordPress, digital marketers can easily spin up a campaign site or get content out quickly. They can create their own workflows to easily optimize and manage content over time with no coding knowledge and without involving a team of developers.
Through the use of its open API, WordPress provides easy integration with other applications. Not only that, but the open-source nature of the platform allows easy integration with new technologies across the board. There are 40k+ free WordPress add-ons, or plugins, available for adding new functionality to your site. Take virtual reality, for example. Through the simple installation of a free WordPress VR plugin, marketers can deliver more dynamic content experiences to customers.
Moving toward a more open web
Roles across companies, across industries, can benefit from open source. It’s changing the face of digital and all signs point to unyielding movement toward a more open web.
Open source directly impacts the role of the digital marketer by enabling them to deliver better, more personalized content experiences to their users and to develop more integrated and customized workflows.