Employee monitoring software comes in many shapes and forms. There’s free program to monitor computer activity, as well as free time tracking software for windows (and for Mac too). There are also some cheap and expensive versions of the software, but there’s also open source.
In this article we’ll explain what open source means, and what are the benefits of using open source monitoring software.
What is Open Source Software?
Open source software is a software in which you have access to the source code, and you’re able to inspect, modify, and improve it. It’s great because with a little knowledge, or if you have a development team, you can adapt the software to your needs. This kind of software is usually free, or pretty affordable, as it doesn’t cost much money to make it.
And yes, there are monitoring and time management tools tools which are open source, and they have their benefits. If you’re not looking to spend much (or any) money on a tracking software, this is definitely the way to go, and here’s why it’s good:
It’s Available at (Almost) No Cost
The best free computer monitoring software usually doesn’t come at zero cost. Open source projects are generally available at no cost, but you still need people to customize the code to your needs. However, employee time tracking software with open source lowers the cost of production.
Look at it this way - if you wanted a custom employee tracking tool, you would need to pay thousands of dollars for someone to make it for you, or you would need to go with an uncustomizable option for less money. If you’re not willing to compromise on the customization, you can hire a development team who can modify the code to suit your needs. Even better, you might even have a dev team already!
No Imposed Updates
Every work tracking software updates from time to time, even the free tracking software for PC does. And more often than not, you’re required to update the software. New update might or might not suit you, the manufacturer maybe ditched some options only a few people were using (and you were one of them), or added some completely unnecessary options which spoiled your experience completely.
When you’re running on an open source software, you decide when the updates happen, as well as what those updates are, which is pretty neat!
When you purchase a software, you usually sign a licence agreement or agree to the terms and conditions, and when was the last time you read those? With these agreements, you could be giving the right to the manufacturer to scan your hard drive from time to time. Additionally, you can never be 100% sure that the person who made your software don’t have access to your data through it, especially if we’re talking about monitoring software.
When you’re using the open source time tracking app, you’re the only one who has access to it. In case there’s a security leak, you’re the one who’s going to fix it, so you’re certain the issue has been resolved.
These reasons are certainly good reasons to use open source software instead of getting a corporate one. However, all these benefits come with certain liabilities, and they could be even more expensive if you’re not familiar with programming, or don’t have a team who can help you adapt the code.
All in all, everything has its pros and cons, and it’s up to you to determine what it is that you really need, if you want to build your own product, or buy a ready-made solution like Insightful.