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Speak Your Mind on the State of Open Source

Anecdotes and hard evidence about open source software driving innovation and economic growth abound; capturing data and trends about the growth of open source is vital. The annual Future of Open Source Survey (FoSS) --open through March 6-- captures the voices of the global open source community. So, we encourage you to take the survey; your contribution will add to what I think is one of the best sources of data on what’s happening with open source (and you’ll get access to the findings).

2015_futureofopensource_0.jpgThis is the ninth annual FoSS survey, led by Black Duck Software and North Bridge Venture Partners, with support from dozens of open source leaders including Acquia.

It’s fair to say it’s a far different world today compared to nearly a decade ago, when the first FoSS survey occurred. Open source software has risen up the foundations of the enterprise technology stack (think the Linux operating system) to leading-edge business applications driving digital customer experience (hello, Drupal.) Even companies that have built global empires around proprietary software are taking a more open stance on open source (see Microsoft open sourcing parts of .NET).

Today, you don’t have to look far to find vocal open source proponents pointing at real results. One of the clearest voices I’ve heard is that of Gail Roper (@gailmroper), CIO for the City of Raleigh, North Carolina.

Raleigh is often referred to as the first “open source city” -- and it’s easy to see why.

Raleigh (pop. 431,000; 1.2 million metro region) has gone all-in with the Open Raleigh Initiative. The city adopts, where feasible, open source software, as it aims to deliver better, more efficient government services. But that’s just part of it. They’re investing in open source code, open access to government data, and open connectivity to create more transparent government and better serve and enable businesses and constituents.

When Roper speaks, she hurdles past the technology to get to the point: Raleigh is betting on open source tools, technology and mindset to drive 21st century economic development, entrepreneurship and education.

Go back a few years and choosing open source was often a response to limited funding for technology projects. In Raleigh, “open source” quickly gained momentum as “a catalyst to (enable the City) to interface with the public, citizens, and to use data and information (in) problem solving solutions,” she said at last October’s All Things Open conference, which was held in Raleigh.

This idea of open source powering growth and opportunity is happening across vertical markets in all sorts of organizations. In Acquia’s world, that means helping organizations succeed with Drupal to create and power digital experiences and customer engagement. Drupal -- among the largest open source software projects in the world -- is a technical foundation (for web content management, commerce and community), in service of business transformation and results.

The future of open source is ever evolving - by which I mean its use and adoption is constantly growing, and new value is constantly being extracted from open source solutions. The FoSS survey is THE annual report on the state of open source. If you haven’t taken time to participate yet (no matter your role), it’s important that you take a few minutes and take the survey today.

This year’s survey closes Friday, March 6. Results will be announced on Thursday, April 16, during a live webcast.

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