10 best open source software for enterprises: ERP and more

Sara Ana Cemazar
March 7, 2023
min read

The days of the old-school proprietary software are gone! Open-source is the new kid in town. And it's taking the business world by storm — including enterprise businesses. 

Businesses of all sizes are increasingly adopting open-source enterprise software as the digital landscape continues to evolve. Traditionally, we've seen open-source projects being adopted by smaller companies with limited budget or niche software needs. But, today we'll discuss why enterprise businesses should consider open-source software.

After that, we also explore the top 10 tools to help enterprise companies get started in the open-source league. Let's jump in.

Benefits of open source software for enterprise businesses

In their 2021 Global Tech Outlook, Red Hat states that 95% of IT leaders believe open-source software is strategically important for their organization's overall enterprise infrastructure. It's no wonder that businesses are embracing it, considering the many advantages of open source software.

So, let's explore these advantages in detail.

1. Flexibility and customization

Open-source enterprise software offers unmatched flexibility and customization as compared to proprietary software. This way, businesses take control and tailor the software to their specific needs and requirements.

2. Advanced security

Thanks to the contributions of a global community of developers, open-source enterprise software is renowned for its advanced security features. This means the software is extensively tested and developed to be secure, reliable, and resistant to cyber threats.

3. No hidden data usage

Open-source enterprise software is exactly that: open. Its source code is transparent and available for inspection and changes.

This gives businesses the transparency they crave, and complete control over their data. It ensures that third parties cannot access or use it without consent. Hence businesses can safeguard their sensitive information and maintain their privacy.

4. Developing internal talent

Using open-source enterprise software enables businesses to foster their internal team’s expertise. The team has access to the source code and can customize it to suit their needs. This flexibility allows businesses to adapt the software to their unique requirements and develop their team's capabilities in the process.

After all, many developers contribute to open source projects primarily to improve their knowledge and develop coding skills.

5. Cost reduction

Open-source enterprise software is significantly cheaper than proprietary software, as it is often free or requires a minimal fee for support and maintenance. This can result in substantial cost savings for enterprise businesses.

6. Powering the digital transformation

Open-source enterprise software enables businesses to adapt quickly to changing market trends and customer needs, resulting in increased agility and competitiveness.

10 best open source software for enterprise businesses

Enterprise businesses are increasingly turning to open-source software because it is flexible, secure, and, most importantly, affordable compared to proprietary software. 

Here’s a list of the 10 best open-source software for enterprise businesses to get started with:

1. Rocket.Chat

enterprise open source chat

Rocket.Chat is a free and open-source communication and collaboration platform. Some prominent features of this open-source enterprise software include messaging, voice, and video conferencing capabilities for businesses of all sizes.

With its secure and customizable environment, Rocket.chat provides a reliable communication channel that can be used internally and externally. It is highly scalable and provides a user-friendly interface and screen-sharing capabilities. Also, Rocket.Chat has file-sharing features that enable businesses to collaborate in real-time.

This open source messaging platform is extremely flexible, and can be used to create customized chat experiences for specific use cases.

Get started with Rocket.Chat’s secure collaboration platform

Talk to sales

Open-source software is the kind of software whose code is available to see. The code is not hidden and can be freely inspected - and even modified.

On the other hand, proprietary or closed-source software is the one whose code remains hidden.

2. Odoo

Odoo is an open-source ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software that helps businesses manage their operations, including sales, inventory, manufacturing, accounting, and more. It's customizable, flexible, and available as a cloud-based and on-premise solution.

The open-source nature of Odoo makes it more transparent and auditable, and it benefits from a community of developers and contributors. Using Odoo as an open-source ERP software can help enterprise businesses reduce costs, streamline operations, and improve their efficiency and productivity.

3. ERPNext

open source enterprise software

ERPNext is a versatile open-source ERP software that enables enterprises to manage their operations, including accounting, inventory, manufacturing, project management, HR, and more.

The key benefit of using ERPNext as open-source software is its flexibility and customization options. It allows users to modify the source code to shape the platform to their specific requirements. ERPNext's open-source nature benefits from a community of developers and contributors continuously improving and refining the software. This community provides support, assistance, and integration of new features and capabilities.

Furthermore, using open-source ERP software like ERPNext can help businesses save costs by avoiding licensing fees for proprietary ERP software. It can also reduce infrastructure costs by providing self-hosting options.

4. OpenProject

OpenProject is an open-source project management tool that offers features such as task management, Gantt charts, collaboration, time tracking, and agile boards. It is a popular choice for enterprise businesses that need to manage complex projects with multiple priorities. 

OpenProject also offers a user-friendly interface making it a powerful and customizable tool fit for businesses across various industries.

5. NextCloud

open source enterprise software

NextCloud is an open-source cloud storage and collaboration platform built for enterprises.

It provides secure file sharing, online document editing, and communication tools. It offers a flexible and scalable environment for enterprise businesses to store and share data securely. The platform enables maximum data security by providing features like version control and encryption.

It offers a user-friendly interface accessible from any device, making it a convenient tool for enterprise businesses with remote teams. Nextcloud also integrates with third-party apps and connects with other tools businesses might already use.

6. WordPress

Enterprise businesses across the world have widely adopted WordPress, an open-source content management system (CMS), to create and manage their websites. Also, it is easy for non-technical users to create, publish, and manage content.

WordPress offers a variety of templates that enable businesses to build a professional-looking website without starting from scratch. The plugin architecture lets businesses add functionality, such as e-commerce capabilities, social media integration, and SEO tools, to their website easily. This architecture helps enterprises tailor their website to their specific needs.

Moreover, an active community of developers and users constantly creates and updates plugins and themes, keeping WordPress up-to-date and secure. This significantly reduces the risk of vulnerabilities and hacking.

7. SuiteCRM

open source enterprise software

SuiteCRM is a customizable open source CRM popular among enterprise businesses for its flexibility, customization options, and integrations. It is open-source software that offers the same functionality as proprietary CRM software without licensing fees or vendor lock-in.

With SuiteCRM, businesses can manage contacts, leads, opportunities, and campaigns more efficiently. Its customization options allow businesses to tailor the software to their needs by modifying the code, adding plugins, or creating custom modules.

In addition, SuiteCRM offers integrations with third-party software, making it easy to connect with other tools that businesses may be using. This means businesses can use SuiteCRM with other software like email marketing platforms, accounting software, or social media management tools.

8. Jitsi

Jitsi is an open-source video conferencing platform that can be used for secure and reliable collaboration. It is free, and businesses can use it for remote meetings, webinars, and virtual events.

One of the main advantages of Jitsi being open-source software is that it's transparent and customizable. Enterprise businesses can customize the platform to fit their unique workflows, branding, and security policies.

Jitsi's open-source nature also means that it benefits from a community of developers and contributors. This community can provide support and assistance to users and develop and integrate new features and capabilities.

Furthermore, using an open-source video conferencing platform like Jitsi can help enterprise businesses reduce costs. Since Jitsi is free, businesses can avoid licensing fees for proprietary video conferencing software. Additionally, the ability to customize and self-host Jitsi can save on infrastructure costs.

9. KeePass

KeePass is an open-source password management tool that allows users to generate, store, and securely manage their passwords. It is available for Windows, Linux, and macOS.

Users can inspect the source code to understand how the tool works and how it stores and protects their passwords. It means that users can have confidence that their passwords are secure. Another benefit of using KeePass as open-source software is that it's highly customizable, which is especially important for enterprise businesses.

10. Kimai

open source enterprise software

Kimai is open-source time-tracking software for businesses that want to track working hours and generate invoices based on the same. 

It's customizable, flexible, and benefits from a community of developers and contributors working to improve and refine the software. Using Kimai as open-source time-tracking software can help enterprise businesses improve their productivity and efficiency by accurately tracking their employees' working hours and optimizing their operations.

Enterprise businesses are yet to harness the power of open source

Open-source solutions like these extend the capabilities of organizations without having to worry about allocating additional resources for licensing, customization, or support. Security, flexibility and scalability of open source are unmatched.

Our predictions? It's the matter of time when enterprise businesses will start to give more attention to the open source. As it does have certain disadvantages in comparison to proprietary software, like the need to have internal talent to customize the software, not all enterprise organizations are fully convinced that open source is the way to go.

But, the indications are strong: enterprise businesses will recognize how beneficial open source software is for their long-term strategy.

To learn more about enterprise businesses and their strategy in choosing software, read these:

➡️ What are enterprise communication tools and how to choose the best?

➡️ What criteria should a chat solution for enterprise business uphold?

Rocket.Chat: Elevate collaboration with enterprise-grade security

Rocket.Chat is a powerful open-source instant messaging platform that can help enhance team collaboration in your organization. This powerful, customizable chat app functions as a central point for all internal and external communication. 

The platform focuses on bringing productivity to the next level by allowing an extensive range of apps and native integrations. 

Rocket.Chat also has powerful open-source architecture and enterprise-grade security features, making it an ideal choice for businesses seeking secure collaboration and seamless communication.  

Get in touch with our team if you want to learn more!

Frequently asked questions about <anything>

open source software for enterprise businesses

What is open source software?

Can you use open source software if you're an enterprise?

What unique traits of open source are beneficial for enterprises?

Why enterprise companies don't use open source software?

Sara is an SEO Strategist at Rocket.Chat. She is passionate about topics around digital transformation, workplace experience, open source, and data privacy and security.
Sara Ana Cemazar
Related Article:
Team collaboration: 5 reasons to improve it and 6 ways to master it
Want to collaborate securely with your team?
Deploy Rocket.Chat on-premise or in the cloud and keep your conversations private.
  • Digital sovereignty
  • Federation capabilities
  • Scalable and white-labeled
Talk to sales
Looking for a HIPAA-ready communications platform?
Enable patients and healthcare providers to securely communicate without exposing their data.
  • Highly scalable and secure
  • Full patient conversation history
  • HIPAA-ready
Talk to sales
The #1 communications platform for government
Deploy Rocket.Chat on-premise, in the cloud, or air-gapped environment.
  • Secure data governance and digital sovereignty
  • Trusted by State, Local, and Federal agencies across the world
  • Matrix federation capabilities for cross-agency communication
Talk to sales
Want to customize Rocket.Chat according to your own preferences?
See behind the engine and change the code how you see fit.
  • Open source code
  • Highly secure and scalable
  • Unmatched flexibility
Talk to sales
Looking for a secure collaboration platform?
Keep your conversations private while enjoying a seamless collaboration experience with Rocket.Chat.
  • End-to-end encryption
  • Cloud or on-prem deployment
  • Supports compliance with HIPAA, GDPR, FINRA, and more
Talk to sales
Want to build a highly secure in-app chat experience?
Use Rocket.Chat’s APIs, frameworks, and managed backend to build a secure in-app or live chat experience for your customers.
  • Supports compliance with HIPAA, GDPR, FINRA, and more
  • Highly secure and flexible
  • On-prem or cloud deployment
Talk to sales

Our best content, once a week

Share this on:

Get your free, personalized demo now!

Build the most secure chat experience for your team or customers

Book demo