The Cloud and Internet of Things Loom Large in the Future of Open Source
This year's Future of Open Source Survey, sponsored by Black Duck and North Bridge Venture Partners, is now out, providing a look at how open source software is driving technology innovation. The results illustrate the increased strategic role that OSS has in today’s enterprises, the crucial function OSS plays in developing new technologies, the growth of first-time developers within the OSS community, and the impact it has on daily life. Among surprises in this year's survey, security and quality are among the most commonly cited reasons why enterprises favor open source software--not cost savings.
“This year’s results signal an important shift in how enterprises view open source – a shift that will have tremendous impact on the future of development,” said Lou Shipley, President and CEO, Black Duck, in a statement. “Open source has proven its quality and security, and reached a point of widespread democratization and proliferation. As such, organizations must – and, as our survey shows, some of the more sophisticated OSS users have already begun – changing the way they view their role. Understanding that it’s about more than just cost-cutting or any of the traditional reasons to simply use OSS; it’s about participating and managing the logistical challenges to gain competitive advantage, attract top talent, and influence project direction.”
Survey results showed growth of first-time developers participating in the open source community, and point to both new open source education initiatives and the prevalence of open source-based educational platforms. In addition, the survey reveals the three industries expected to be impacted most by OSS are education (76 percent), government (67 percent), and health care (45 percent).
The Internet of Things (IoT) and the continued rise of Software as a Service (SaaS) were among top trends identified by this year's survey. When asked what industries OSS technology was leading, 63 percent cited cloud computing/virtualization as the key area where developers have turned to OSS. In addition, 57 percent answered content management, 52 percent selected mobile technology, and 51 percent answered security.
Fifty-six percent of corporations expect to contribute to more open source projects in 2014, showing a change in the way enterprises view open source. When asked why they engaged with OSS communities, cost reduction was still the top response (61 percent), but 45 percent of corporations responded that they also did so to gain competitive advantage. For companies with over 1,000 employees, influencing a project’s direction was the third most popular answer. Finding and recruiting talent fell from the number two reason to engage with communities in 2013 to the number five answer this year, with only 37 percent choosing that as the top reason.
Among additional findings:
72 percent of respondents chose to use OSS because of it provides stronger security than proprietary solutions, signaling a growing awareness that the proper management and use of OSS actually provides an even more secure environment than proprietary solutions. Building upon this, 80 percent of respondents reported choosing open source because of its quality over proprietary alternatives.
68 percent of respondents said that OSS helped improve efficiency and lower costs, and 55 percent also indicated that OSS helped create new products and services, further supporting the idea of OSS as both an entrenched and a strategic element of today’s enterprises.
50 percent of enterprises report openly contributing to and adopting open source, signaling a shift in the way organizations view the value of and their role in making contributions to the community.
This year's survey included 1,240 respondents (defined as "industry influencers"), more than had ever participated before.