1. Do we have the time? Free software usually requires a much larger time commitment, for one big reason: There’s no support. If any problems arise, you’ll have to fix them all by yourself. This can eat up a lot of time over the years.
2. Do we have the skills? Free software usually requires a higher level of technical proficiency, for the same reason I mentioned above: You must do everything yourself. From installation, to software changes, to troubleshooting, everything is manual.
If you think free and open source software is right for your business, then I have a great list for you to check out. It details 70 of the best open source software replacements for small businesses, though many of them apply to any size business. It’s a really good list–I haven’t heard of many of the software products mentioned.
Of course, if you have any software to add to this list, I’d love to hear about it.