For the past nine years Black Duck Software and North Bridge have run a survey measuring open source trends called the Future Of Open Source Survey. This year The Linux Foundation has partnered with them to help paint a picture of how open source is evolving.
As someone who was involved in a business that was heavily reliant on open source (Linux, sendmail, BIND) in the 1990s, it’s fascinating to see the evolution and massive adoption in 2015 and beyond. I recall explaining free and open source software to my “business” friends and recall the look of confusion as I explained that it’s free and customizable.
Fast forward to 2015. The nature of software development has fundamentally changed: we are living in a post proprietary world. It’s not that proprietary software is going away -- rather, all types of software are increasingly built with a blend of open source and proprietary code.
The end of the software “cold war” has given rise to a new and uncertain time in the software industry, for open source communities and also for software companies, the technology industry and indeed the entire global economy which is increasingly dependent on software.
Seventy-eight percent of respondents said their companies run part or all of its operations on OSS and 66 percent said their company creates software for customers built on open source. This statistic has nearly doubled since 2010, when 42 percent of respondents in the Future of Open Source survey five years ago said that they used open source in the running of their business or their IT environments.
Ninety-three percent said their organization’s use of open source increased or remained the same in the past year.
Sixty-four percent of companies currently participate in open source projects – up from 50 percent in 2014 – and over the next 2-3 years, 88 percent are expected to increase contributions to open source projects.
Open source has become the default approach for software with more than 66 percent of respondents saying they consider OSS before other options.
The interesting thing will be to see if the results continue to accelerate at the same rate or even faster. You can see results of last year's survey here. Follow the 2016 Future of Open Source Survey on Twitter at #FutureOSS and @FutureOfOSS, and stay tuned to Linux.com for future updates and results.