Sunday, 20th October 2019
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Open source on the up

Open source viewed as today’s preeminent architecture and an engine for innovation, but significant challenges remain in open source security and management practices.

Black Duck and North Bridge, a inception-to-growth stage venture capital firm, has released the results of the 10th Future of Open Source Survey, which examines open source software trends on an annual basis. Notably, the 2016 survey findings position open source as today’s preeminent architecture, the foundation for nearly all applications, operating systems, cloud computing, databases and big data.
“When the first survey launched 10 years ago, hardly anyone would have predicted that open source use would be ubiquitous worldwide just a decade later, but for many good reasons that’s what has happened. Its value in reducing development costs, in freeing internal developers to work on higher-order tasks, and in accelerating time to market is undeniable. Simply put, open source is the way applications are developed today,” said Black Duck CEO Lou Shipley. “The future of open source is full of possibilities.”
In terms of the overall influence open source has on their businesses, survey respondents see it as an engine for innovation, with 90 percent reporting they rely on open source for improved efficiency, innovation and interoperability. The most compelling reasons cited in the survey for use of open source included flexibility and freedom from vendor lock-in; competitive features and technical capabilities; ability to customize; and overall quality.
Shipley noted that the 2016 survey results also show that the rapid adoption of open source has outpaced the implementation of effective open source management and security practices. “We see opportunities for organizations to make significant improvements in those areas. With nearly half of respondents saying they have no formal processes to track their open source, and half reporting that no one has responsibility for identifying known vulnerabilities and tracking remediation, we expect to see greater focus on those areas,” said Shipley.
“Open source today is unequivocally the engine of innovation, whether that’s powering technology like operating systems, cloud, big data or IoT, or powering a new generation of open source companies delivering compelling solutions to the market,” said Paul Santinelli, general partner at North Bridge.
“Our survey this year showed respondents report that in the next two or three years, the business models that will generate the most revenue for open source vendors are SaaS (46%); Custom Development (42%) and Services/Support (41%). In the venture world we’re seeing a new generation of open source companies pushing these models forward such as Acquia, Chef, Cloudera, Couchbase, Docker and WP Engine. Over the coming years we fully expect open core to continue to build as a revenue model while reliance on SaaS as a business model decreases as it did for the first time this year,” Santinelli said.
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