Open Source Code – Reducing Technology Costs

Online retailer Flipkart is looking to cut down on technology refinement costs by opening its technology platforms to software coders.  Making its source code open source allows firms or individuals to freely create new applications for the entire ecommerce industry.  The company made its product “Phantom” open source three months ago and just recently made “HostDB” open source.  Contributors to open source code do not receive payment their work, which greatly cuts down on costs.  Companies do not necessarily benefit from contributors’ work, but often small improvements can be implemented into their programs.  Allowing the public to create this new code reduces risk and cost to minimal values. 

Flipkart is not the first company to make its code open to the public – Google and Facebook are two of the largest companies to have done this in the past.  Android’s development by Google was aided by contributions via open source.  Hadoop – software that stores open source data sets – is projected to grow immensely in the future; currently worth $1.5 billion, the company is expected be worth over $20 billion in 2018.  This projection underscores technology refinement’s large costs and one industry’s creative way to reduce them.

Sources: Flipkart Opens up Part of its Technology Code to Deliver Innovation
Flipkart Opens Tech Platform for Developers

5 thoughts on “Open Source Code – Reducing Technology Costs

  1. This is a very interesting concept. It’s like crowd-sourcing, but with human capital. But it raises the question, what benefit do contributors receive if they don’t get paid? Is it just the pride in knowing that their code was used by a larger company? Do contributors receive some kind of recognition that they can add to their resume? Perhaps the open platform just invites coders who hack as a hobby. Would this mean that they are more likely to be receiving help from amateur coders rather than professional coders? I guess in the end free help is free help.

  2. I could see this being used by hackers as a way to put loopholes in codes and then navigating to crash site or take information from sites who borrow the code. However, a lot of code has already been pioneered and it becomes increasingly more difficult to come up with something brand new… A lay out can change but the underlying code can only go so far.

  3. Agreed Paul. I do think that this does open up the firm and others who use the code to serious risk. However I think there is the potential for this to be positive, especially if there is at least minimal oversight of the work being done.

  4. The public’s incentive to write open-source code is recognition. Code that changes a program in a novel or significant way is linked to its author. If innovation is impressive enough, a company may hire an individual who contributes to open-source code.

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