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By vikram samant | 19 Jun 2015

Open Source Software (OSS) has shown remarkable traction in the past few years, with its USP moving beyond just license fees. It has provided additional business value as below:

  • Transfer control of software architecture back to you
  • Opening newer avenues for consulting, service and tech support
  • Better innovation due to strong online tech community
  • Better flexibility offered by OSS

So the cost efficiencies are still there, but they are due to the advantages OSS provides over and above license fees elimination.

Open Source continues to grow strength to strength in terms of enterprise adoption. Recent reports from renowned market analysis giant, Gartner, says that by 2016 OSS will be included in mission critical portfolios by a staggering 99% of Global 2000 Enterprises. This figure is up from 75% just 5 years back. Additionally by 2016, 50% of leading non-IT organizations will use OSS as a business strategy to gain competitive advantage.

It will be difficult to see a stronger signal than the one heralded by its current position in 2015, which has been beautifully encapsulated by the ‘Future of Open Source’ by North Bridge and Black Duck. The 1300 respondents from a diverse mix of CIOs, CEOs, Developers, Analysts and Systems Architects interviewed gave a pretty much global perspective on where OSS is today and where it is headed for in the future.

The findings

This year's survey results not only have some interesting statistics but also show how things have improved/enhanced in a short span of 4-5 years. Take for instance the adoption of Open Source in the enterprise scheme of things.

  • Today 78% of companies run on Open Source. More heartening than this is to see that the number was just 42% in 2010
  • 93% of the enterprises had the same or increased volume of Open Source usage as compared to last year
  • Currently, 64% of companies are involved in Open Source projects in some form or other. This number was 50% last year. The level of engagement is expected to climb to an impressive 88% in the next two to three years.
  • More than 66% says that they consider OSS model before any other approach for their new software projects.  

How OSS strengthens security and impacts the future of technology

Some benefits of OSS that were highlighted in the survey results include –

  • 58% say that OSS provides the best capability to scale up, for future growth opportunity
  • 43% says that as against proprietary software, OSS provides better ease of deployment
  • An impressive 55% feel that OSS offers better degree of security when compared to proprietary software
  • This number is expected to rise to 61% in the next two to three years, showing continued positive sentiments around OSS and security
  • For 45% of respondents, OSS comes across as the first security technology to be evaluated by them, much ahead of licensed security technology
  • OSS is going to impact critical business segments such as –

    • Cloud Computing (almost 40%)
    • Big Data (35%) 
    • Operating systems (33%), and
    • Internet of Things – IoT (>30%)

The challenge – Proper level of management of OSS

While things do look bright for OSS, some challenges still prevail. This prevents a more rapid adoption of OSS.

  • Some 56% of the respondents agree that their company has no formal policies for OSS implementation
  • Also currently, only 27% reported the presence of proper regulatory framework.

These numbers show that there is still a long way to go in terms of strategic OSS use within the formal corporate IT framework. With just 16% having automated code approval process in place, and only 42% keeping a record of the various OSS components within their IT infrastructure, OSS use needs to become part of mainstream operations to show better value to enterprise users.

The security aspect too needs to be beefed up looking at some not so encouraging numbers –

  • More than 50% have a less than thorough understanding of the various security components within the OSS framework
  • 83% have no formal plans to monitor OS code for probable security issues.

Conclusion

The results prove one thing which we have known for quite sometime now; Open Source is here to stay and is now the de-facto software architecture for many emerging and established enterprises. The 2015 results re-iterate the amazing increase in Open Source adoption and reflect the growing number of companies that are taking part in the Open Source community.

CIGNEX ensures that your IT portfolio gains from the increased agility, better user experience, and amazing drop in Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) offered by OS. We carry out a strategic assessment of existing IT portfolio for OS readiness through the Open Source Readiness Assessment framework (OpeRA™). This helps us to identify improvement/ optimization opportunities, provide recommendations & develop solution blueprint and roadmap leveraging suitable open source technologies to reach the desired end state. If you too want your enterprise to upgrade your legacy systems to modern and modular Open Source framework, then contact CIGNEX today.