Melissa Di Donato, CEO of open source software company SUSE, was at a tech summit recently where every other attendee was an executive from a proprietary, closed-source software company. “They were all talking about the importance of crowd-sourcing, of community building, so I raised my hand and said: ‘Wait a minute – are you aware there is a whole world out there and it’s called open source? Do you even know what open source is?'”
The other execs were a bit perplexed, she remembers. “These people didn’t realize how much potential the technology has,” she says. “Open source is shaking the world, and it’s coming like an earthquake.” The idea of open-source software goes back decades, but in the past decade or so, and in particular with the advent of cloud computing, it has become a core part of the business technology landscape.