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Rise of Open Source: 53 percent of companies have an open source program

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According to the 2018 Open Source Program Management Survey, formal open source programs are fast becoming a best practice for companies in the technology, telecom/media and financial services industries.

The survey was released by The Linux Foundation in collaboration with the TODO Group and The New Stack. More than half (53%) of the companies surveyed say their organization has an open source software program or has plans to establish one within the next year.

“Almost every organization today uses open source code and it has become table stakes for most businesses, even though it’s not always fully understood at the executive or strategic level,” said Chris Aniszczyk, CTO of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation and Co-Founder of the TODO Group at The Linux Foundation.

“The results of the Open Source Program Management Survey point to a growing awareness by decision makers of the need for formal open source programs and policies to manage how open source code is used and produced, as well as an increasing understanding of how it can be strategically integrated into a company’s business plans,” he quipped.

The 2018 Open Source Program Management Survey examines the prevalence and outcomes of open source programs among the Global Fortune 2000 including the key benefits and barriers to adoption.

Take a quick look at its key findings:
• Open source use has become commonplace among tech and non-tech companies alike with 72% of companies frequently using open source for non-commercial or internal reasons and 55% using open source for commercial products.
• Open source programs are very critical or extremely critical to the success of engineering and product teams according to 59% of respondents with an open source program.
• The top three benefits of managing an open source program are awareness of open source usage/dependencies, increased developer agility/speed, and better license compliance.
• Large companies are about twice as likely to run an open source program than smaller companies (63 percent vs. 37 percent).
• Open source programs tend to start informally as a working group or a few key open source developers and then evolve into formal programs over time, typically within a company’s software engineering or development department (about 41 percent of programs).
• The benefits of an open source program are widely known, with 70% of those without a program believing it would have a positive impact in their company, despite any barriers to creating it.

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