Open source viewed as today’s preeminent architecture and an engine for innovation, but significant challenges remain in open source security and management practices
BURLINGTON, MA – April 27, 2016 – Black Duck, the global leader in automated solutions for securing and managing open source software, and North Bridge, a inception-to-growth stage venture capital firm, in collaboration with Acquia today 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.
The 2016 Future of Open Source Survey drew a record 1,300 respondents from 64 countries and provided broad insights on the state of open source in a variety of areas, including business value, innovation stimulation, emerging business models, security and management practices and corporate contributions to open source projects.
Open source is an essential element in development strategy with more than 65 percent of respondents relying on open source to speed development.
More than 55 percent leverage open source within their production environments.
Engine for Innovation
- Respondents reported use of open source to drive innovation through faster, more agile development; accelerated time to market and vastly superior interoperability.
- Additional innovation is afforded by open source’s quality of solutions; competitive features and technical capabilities; and ability to customize.
Proliferation of Open Source Business Models and Investment
- More diverse business models are emerging that promise to deliver more value to open source companies than ever before. They are not as dependent on SaaS and services/support.
- Open source private financing has increased almost 4x in five years.
Security and Management
The development of best-in-class open source security and management practices has not kept pace with growth in adoption. Despite a proliferation of expensive, high-profile open source breaches in recent years, the survey revealed that:
- 50 percent of companies have no formal policy for selecting and approving open source code.
- 47 percent of companies don’t have formal processes in place to track open source code, limiting their visibility into their open source and therefore their ability to control it.
- More than one-third of companies have no process for identifying, tracking or remediating known open source vulnerabilities.
Open Source Participation on the Rise
The survey revealed an active corporate open source community that spurs innovation, delivers exponential value and shares camaraderie:
- 67 percent of respondents report actively encouraging developers to engage in and contribute to open source projects.
- 65 percent of companies are contributing to open source projects.
- One in three companies have a full-time resource dedicated to open source projects.
- 59 percent of respondents participate in open source projects to gain competitive edge.
The slide show providing more information is available at http://www.slideshare.net/North_Bridge/2016-future-of-open-source-study.
Future of Open Source 2016 collaborators included the following: Abilian, Acquia, Ant Systems, Appnovation, Appsembler, Ardent Technologies, Inc., Bareos GmbH & Co. KG, Black Duck Software, Capital One, Chamilo, Chef, CloudFoundry Corp, Confer, Coolan, Couchbase, Credativ, DEIS/Engineyard, Eclipse Foundation, EnterpriseDB, Evolveum, Grid Protection Alliance, Hewlett Packard, InfoSys, JFrog, Linux Foundation, Linux Professional Institute, MARSEC, Microsoft, MassTLC, Miracl, nexB, NGINX, North Bridge, Open Source Business (OSB) Alliance, Open Source EHR Alliance, Open Source Initiative (OSI), OpenClinic, Open-Xchange, Opmantek, OpusVL, Pentaho, Ravel Law, Red Hat, Rift-io, SDH Institute, Tecnisys, The Apache Software Foundation, The Document Foundation, Ubuntu, Univention, VoltDB, Wikibon, WIPRO and WP Engine.
Among the collaborators were all the North Bridge Open Source portfolio companies including: Acquia, Coolan, Confer, Couchbase, Ravel Law, Rift-io, and WP Engine.