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Sep 14

DevNull127 shares some of the key findings from The New Stack’s second annual “Open Source Programs in the Enterprise” survey, co-sponsored by VMware and in partnership with The Linux Foundation’s TODO Group: Companies with initiatives to promote open source overwhelmingly say these efforts are improving their companies’ software practices. The results [of the survey] show that proponents of free and open-source software (FOSS) have moved to the next phases of open source adoption, widening its usage within the enterprise while keeping alive the spirit and ethos of non-commercial software communities.

69% are at least sometimes using open-source code in commercial products, with that figure jumping to 83% among technology companies — within three percentage points of the same survey’s results last year. And most (79%) Internet-scale technology companies with more than 10,000 employees already have an open-source management program, which is a slight increase compared to last year. That stability shows that the next big changes in enterprise open source will instead involve its scope and how much enterprises emphasize giving back to the community.

Increased innovation rose to become the most cited benefit of open-source programs. Participants said development speed, technology flexibility, and total cost of ownership are the top three. Lower support costs were also seen as a likely benefit. But open-source programs are also improving how software development is handled. In response to one of our new questions, 81% of respondents say their program has had a positive impact on their company’s software practices. In an open-ended follow-up question, code reviews and license-compliance processes were repeatedly cited as specific practices that were improved as a direct result of the program. Furthermore, code quality and reduced costs were often cited as specific benefits coming from improved software practices. While “quality” is often hard to define, many respondents say newly-instituted code reviews have been a specific positive impact on their company’s software practices. The full dataset can be found here.

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