Does your company run on open-source software? Join the (very large) club

In five years, the number of organizations relying on such software has nearly doubled, this survey says

2015 Future of Open Source Software Survey

2015 Future of Open Source Software Survey

Every year, open-source software "eats" more of the business world.

Back in 2010, roughly 42 percent of the respondents to North Bridge and Black Duck Software's annual future of open source survey said they used open source to run their business or in their IT environment. This year, it's 78 percent.

"Open source has solidified its position as the default base for software development," said Paul Santinelli, general partner at North Bridge. "It is infiltrating almost every facet of the modern enterprise."

Black Duck and North Bridge on Thursday released the 2015 results of the survey, which is now in its ninth year. Included are the responses of some 1,300 IT and business professionals across industries.

Among the other notable results:

-- Sixty-six percent of respondents said their companies now create software for customers that's built using open-source tools;

-- Sixty-four percent participate in open-source projects --- up from 50 percent just last year. Over the next two to three years, 88 percent expect to do so;

-- More than 66 percent of respondents say they consider open-source software before other options;

-- Fifty percent say more than half of the engineers at their company are working with open-source software.

Why all this interest? As in past years, respondents named numerous advantages to open-source software, such as superior technical merits, including security, ease of deployment and scalability; competitive advantage; and its ability to help recruit top talent.

One key downside: More than 55 percent of respondents to the survey said their company has no formal policy or procedure for open-source consumption. Only 27 percent have a formal policy for employee contributions to open-source projects.

The message there? "Companies need their management and governance of open source to catch up to their usage," said Lou Shipley, CEO of Black Duck Software, which focuses on helping organizations with just those kinds of challenges.

A full description of the survey's results is available on Slideshare.net.

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Tags open sourceLou ShipleyBlack Duck SoftwarePaul SantinelliNorth Bridgesoftware

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Katherine Noyes

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