52% say they are standardising on open source stacks

Sonatype open source survey shows growing importance for enterprises

A survey conducted by Sonatype, known in Java circles for being behind open source contributions to Apache Maven and Tycho, has revealed that over half of enterprises consider open source infrastructures as the standard for the industry.

52% of those surveyed said they were standardising on an open source stack, a rise of 3% from last year, making it now the majority. 2,550 experts took part in the extensive survey from several industry juggernauts such as Oracle, RedHat, IBM and Apple. 52% were software developers/engineers with a further 22% architects.

Interestingly, 10% said that they only use commercially-supported open source tools/infrastructure, which was again a 3% rise, suggesting that the vast majority see the worth of the open source community, but a rising number are looking for a robust commercial offering. Only 11% said that open source development wasn't widespread within their working environment.

Two thirds of organisations questioned actively contributed back to the open source projects, but a third were strictly consumers, suggesting there's still a one-way culture from some. Then again, 9% apparently break company protocol to give something back. For the greater good, eh?

Enforcement sadly appears to be on the rise, with 20% claiming they can only used approved components, which sort of goes against open choice. Financial services appear to be on the leash the most in this department, 31% of them face enforced rules.

In terms of open source components themselves, Java dominates the landscape with 86% of those surveyed saying it was critical in development for them. Hardly a surprise really given it is the backbone of more-or-less all infrastructures.

Maven Central gets the status of champion open source component, with 78% decreeing it critical or important to their business. The top five was rounded out by Project Sites (51%), JBoss (43%), Atlassian (39%) and GitHub (27%). The latter is slightly surprising given the huge shift towards GitHub within the open source community, but perhaps it hasn't yet permeated the minds of business-savvy head honchos. We hope that changes.

Finally, code maturity and quality matter most to enterprises, with 51% deeming both mission critical.

It's clear that more organisations are using open source tools as part of their infrastructure, yet combined with this shift, the closed source police are out with batons in hand. Check out the entire findings from Sonatype in the rather snazzy Prezi presentation below - very interesting reading!

Chris Mayer

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