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When it comes to cutting costs, schools are starting to implement different innovations so they can boost efficiency, better manage resources and refine the way they carry out their operations. For instance, institutions could be looking to adopt a computerized maintenance management system to orchestrate all of the functions needed to keep their buildings running smoothly, safely and on budget.
There is a wide selection of systems that they could select, but some options are more affordable than others. That being said, if schools are hoping to implement one of these solutions at the lowest cost possible, they have to be careful about jumping the gun by picking an open source system, as these supposedly free services could be too good to be true. Even though open source solutions may look like a deal because of their lack of subscription fees, they could end up costing schools significant sums of money in development and maintenance expenses.
The hidden costs of open sourcing
According to Forbes, people who decide to implement open source software are signing themselves up for a major commitment. Schools choosing these systems should consider what they are really getting themselves into. They need to have highly skilled IT professionals on staff so they can take the bare bone structures of open source, investing a great deal of time and effort into customizing them to meet schools' needs.
After the initial personalization process, institutions have to keep these tech experts around so they can offer support for the system. Schools opting for these open source solutions must take care of potential glitches and updates to their programs all on their own, which means they will have to use an ample amount of resources. In the long run, these complimentary building blocks could cost schools more money than comprehensive software - which typically comes with updates, support and maintenance services as a part of a service provider's package.
Reliable systems could be the better bet
You should take into account an open source provider's reliability. Affinity Informatics explained that although your school may be taking the reins and using your own resources to develop these systems, you still have to depend on the providers to support the network on which you're operating. If you have issues accessing and leveraging your system because the platform is down, you have to trust that the provider is on top of the situation. In these cases, school officials will find that they are still reliant on a third party, not completely independent. This could lead them to question why they didn't go with a dependable company that offers a complete package.