Git Turns 8, Sees Wide Adoption in the Enterprise


This April marks both the eighth anniversary of Git and the fifth anniversary of GitHub, so it should come as no great surprise that the distributed revision control and source code management (SCM) system has been the focus of extra attention this month.

Case in point: Enterprise cloud development firm CollabNet recently announced the results of what it calls the first major industry survey on Git adoption in the enterprise. In a nutshell, the survey found that Git is being widely adopted in companies for its ability to drive agility and innovation for leading-edge mobile, social and cloud-based applications.

InfoWeek Git paper“Git was created for development speed, and according to our survey results, this is exactly why organizations from a wide range of sectors have turned to it,” said Eric Bruno, author of “The State of Git in the Enterprise.” In fact, “its speed and powerful branching and merging have led to its adoption within companies of all sizes, both in terms of employee size and annual revenue. Git’s adoption in the enterprise is clearly seen as a shining point.”

More Than 40 Percent Use Git

Originally created by Linux creator Linus Torvalds, Git is a free and open source distributed version control system “designed to handle everything from small to very large projects with speed and efficiency,” in the project’s own words. Not only that, but it’s fast and easy to learn, and it offers a diminutive footprint. Written in C, Git was built to work on the Linux kernel and was designed with speed and performance in mind.

Today, all the many advantages that have long made the system appealing to independent developers are apparently attracting enterprises as well.

To conduct its study, CollabNet partnered with UBM Tech and surveyed more than 240 software developers and managers working for organizations with more than 100 employees; 30 percent worked at companies with more than 10,000 employees.

Among the findings of the research is that more than 40 percent of the enterprises responding say they use Git. Most use two or more SCM tools, they said, including also Subversion, Microsoft TFS/VSS and CVS, but 25 percent said Git is one of their standard tools. 

On-premise and private cloud deployments of Git repositories are generally preferred over public cloud hosting options today, with 69 percent choosing the on-premise option and 44 percent choosing the private cloud alternative. Only 27 percent said they use public cloud hosting for this purpose. 

A full 86 percent of Git users, meanwhile, noted that they also use Agile methodology.

‘Recognition of the Benefits’

“We see Git penetration within the enterprise accelerating as a result of increased recognition of the benefits of decentralized version control, improved tooling and support for Git, and the strong desire for developers to leverage the tool,” Stephen O’Grady, cofounder and principal analyst at RedMonk, told 

Git offers significant advantages for enterprises, but that’s not to say companies don’t have any concerns. Namely, security, tool integration and coexistence with other SCM tools were identified as issues by 51 percent, 49 percent and 37 percent of the study’s respondents, respectively.

Among respondents’ top suggestions for making Git better-suited for enterprise use were administration, security management and performance on Windows, CollabNet found.

‘Faster, More Agile and Collaborative’

“The use of Git and other SCM tools represents an opportunity for faster, more agile and collaborative development and deployment of applications among large enterprise organizations,” noted Jay Lyman, senior analyst for enterprise software at 451 Research.

“However, these software tools also represent the variety and complexity of languages, frameworks and other tools used today, also known as polyglot programming, and some large enterprises and their leadership still find Git difficult to manage,” Lyman told “I’m not surprised to see nearly half of enterprise organizations deploying Git and the popularity of using it for on-premise or private cloud deployments given the type of development, testing and proof-of-concept work typically supported on Git.

“The association of Git with agile practices and processes and the call to expand support for Windows environments also tells us Git is playing a role in continuous integration/continuous deployment or devops initiatives,” Lyman added. “Openness is highlighted as well with the reported use of multiple SCM tools and desire for integration and coexistence.”