Open source stronger than ever, but faces challenges to maintain it: survey finds
‘The 2012 Future of Open Source’ survey reveals some interesting findings about where open source is at and where it’s going.
A survey conducted in collaboratively by Black Duck, the 451 Group and North Bridge Venture Partners has found
that cloud, big data, mobile applications and enterprise
mobility are where open source is making big leaps.
The Future of Open Source Survey 2012, (the 6th
annual survey) was released yesterday, just in time for the huge
launch of open source gathering, Open Source Business
Conference, and has been recognised as a font for all things
related to open source within the
The most interesting point within the reams of data was that it
appears that open source has reached the promised enterprise lands,
with Black Duck CEO and
President Tim Yeaton proclaiming that it’s interesting to look
at how ‘OSS has achieved broad-scale Enterprise
There were over 700 respondents this year (59% non-vendors
compared to 41% vendors), with a third agreeing that open source
deployment had permeated their workplace, accounting for over 75%
of the total deployed. A further third said the amount was between
50-75%. That’s a phenomenal amount and suggests open source has
reached a tipping point. What better way to enforce that than pure
hard statistics – 600,000+ OSS projects, 100 billion lines of code
and 10 million person-years are an indicator to tell you just how
widespread it has become.
Futhermore, five years down the line, the survey found that over
half of all software purchases will be OSS. According to the
results, the driver for this high growth is from an
increasing number of non-technical segments such as health care,
automotive and government tuning into the profitability of OSS, as
well as general stronger enterprise adoption. Broader adoption is
exactly what we like to see.
As for why enterprises will turn to OSS, freedom from vendor
lock-in, lower costs and quality were seen as the three main
reasons. This is encouraging to see – the first two have long been
associated with open source, yet quality has long been ignored
until now. Are we reaching a point where enterprises are turning to
an open component above a proprietary one, because it’s just
better? It seems that way.
While there has been a never-ending debate regarding code
quality, survey respondents were unequivocal: they view the quality
of OSS as one of their top three reasons for adoption.
43% of vendors revealed that project maturity is a big
factor within choice, which makes sense with more than a few
projects having rock-solid terra-firma beneath their feet now. This
was slightly higher (46%) for non-vendors.
Yet there’s still barriers to overcome. Nearly half (48%)
noted that ‘unfamiliarity with open source solutions’ is still a
problem, whilst just 1% less said a lack of technical skills
internally was a factor.
Taking a glimpse into the crystal ball now, cloud accounts
for 40% of new innovative projects compared to 19% for mobile apps
and 15% for mobile enterprise. You’d expect there’d be a lot of
crossover here with convergence high on the agenda moving
To check out the rest of the survey, you’ll find the sllideshow
here at Yeaton’s blogpost. It appears that open source
solutions have reached the highest point of acclaim so far
throughout the enterprise world, but will it plateau at some point?
It doesn’t look likely with innovation rampant.