ERP Systems

The True Cost of Free ERP Systems

Just because a software solution is free does not mean that it comes without a cost. It may have additional maintenance costs and the updates tend to be slow, which may cause compliance issues or gaps in information. Also, it may be difficult to find the developer to fix problems when things go wrong, and free ERP systems are often less efficient and less effective than what an organization would need. Further, expansion modules to get more information from the free software may be limited or require significant customizations to get built and implemented.

Three specific reasons why “free” ERP systems will cost you more resources in the long run:

1. Developer Becomes MIA

Unfortunately, when it comes to free ERP Systems, many times the developer responsible for the software is nowhere to be found when an issue arises with the system because he or she did not have a vested interest in the software. Developers of free software move on to a different paying project, and don’t have time to deal with customer issues. According to an article published in TechTalk, the author points out, “As free software is a labour of love, paid jobs often take precedence over freebies.” No one can fault a developer for needing compensation.  But again, a person who isn’t paid for his or her time developing software will rarely have a vested interest in that project.

2. Major Security Risks

Additionally, free ERP systems often come with significant security risks. There are a couple of reasons for this: First, there’s little accountability when it comes to security because free software is often associated with individual developer accounts and is an open target for cyber-attacks. In an article in AIM, the author states some startling statistics: “Out of the top ten most-used software packages in analysis, the CII team found that seven were hosted under individual developer accounts.” It goes on to say, “While these individual accounts can use measures like multi-factor authentication (MFA), they may not always do so, and individual computing environments are probably more vulnerable to attack.”

Second, any susceptibilities within the software are easily pinpointed and leveraged by cybercriminals because most vulnerabilities are made public knowledge on the internet. Elizabeth Fichtner, the author of a recently published article on, says, “Vulnerabilities in open-source software are made public knowledge by contributors themselves, as well as by organizations like the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) and the National Vulnerability Database (NVD).” She goes on to say that even if you get an advanced warning about a problem within the system, so will everyone else who’s part of “the community.” If you have failed to make routine updates to your software, cybercriminals can take advantage of that public knowledge and hack into your system.

3. Absence of Support

Lastly, free ERP systems do not provide adequate support or documentation. Part of this goes back to the developer losing interest in the project and not following up with customers. Another part of the lack of support is that a manual or documentation for the software was never created. Of course, there are always exceptions to any rule. You may luck out and find an amazing free ERP System that is everything you hoped it would be and more. But why take that risk with something as important as the ERP System for your organization?

Save Time and Money with Quality ERP Systems

Why waste your time with a free ERP solution when it ends up causing more trouble than it’s worth? Why not invest in a quality ERP system that will last you for years to come, can integrate with other software, and doesn’t pose major security threats to your data? Purchasing a high-quality ERP Solution from a trusted developer will save you time and money in the long run. If you would like to learn more about the innovative ERP solutions we offer here at RDA, reach out to us via this link. One of our team members would be happy to follow up with you and explain the purchasing and installation process.

About RDA

RDA’s innovative ERP software provides meaningful transparency and access for your community and staff, along with powerful insights into data. The RDA Solution is hosted in the Cloud, providing regular backups, product updates and concierge support, ensuring that clients feel confident and are successful with their new software.

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