The Ninth Annual Future of Open Source Survey

Open source software has emerged as the driving force of technology innovation, from cloud and big data to social media and mobile. The Future of Open Source Survey, sponsored by Black Duck and North Bridge, is an annual assessment of open source industry trends that drives broad industry discussion around key issues for new and established software-related organizations and the open source community.

The 2015 Future of Open Source Survey Reveals 78% of Companies Run on Open Source, Yet Many Lack Formal Policies to Manage Legal and Security Risks

The results from the 2015 Future of Open Source Survey reflect the increasing adoption of open source and highlight the abundance of organizations participating in the open source community. Open source continues to speed innovation, disrupt industries, and improve productivity; however, a reported lack of formal company policies and processes around its consumption points to a need for OSS management and security practices to catch up with this growth in investment and use.

2015 Future of Open Source Survey Results from Black Duck Software

Corporate Open Source Use and Participation Reaches All-Time High

  • 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 is almost double the number of respondents – forty-two percent - which said in 2010 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.

OSS Shapes the Future of Technology and Security

  • Fifty-eight percent believe open source affords the greatest ability to scale and 43 percent said OSS provides superior ease of deployment over proprietary software.
  • Fifty-five percent believe open source delivers superior security when lined up against proprietary solutions. The superior security of open source is also expected to rise to 61 percent over the next 2-3 years.
  • When evaluating security technologies for internal use, 45 percent of respondents said open source options are given first consideration.
  • Cloud computing (39%), big data (35%), operating systems (33%), and the Internet of Things (31%) are expected to be impacted most by open source in the next 2-3 years.

Companies Still Lack Formal Policies to Manage Open Source Use

  • More than 55 percent of respondents said their company has no formal policy or procedure for open source consumption. Moreover, only 27 percent have a formal policy for employee contributions to OSS projects.
  • A mere 16 percent have an automated code approval process and less than 42 percent maintain an inventory of open source components.
  • More than 50 percent are not satisfied with their ability to understand known security vulnerabilities in open source components, and only 17 percent plan to monitor open source code for security vulnerabilities.

Industry Experts To Weigh In On 2015 Results

We hosted a live panel discussion on the industry’s hottest trends and the 2015 survey results, featuring:

fooss 2015 jeff

Jeffrey Hammond
VP, Principal Analyst
Forrester Research

fooss 2015 paul

Paul Santinelli
General Partner
North Bridge

fooss 2015 jane

Jane Silber

fooss 2015 bill

Bill Weinberg
Senior Director
Open Source Strategy
Black Duck Software



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2015 fooss cllaborate Thank You

Check out Future of Open Source Survey results from 2014, 2013 and 2012.