The 2015 Future of Open Source Survey

Black Duck Software and North Bridge Venture Capital just released a the results of their "2015 Future of Open Source" survey. The summary is below.

2015 Future of Open Source Survey Results from North Bridge

Amongst the high level of bizspeak, a couple things stood out to me:

Slide 8: The big number on the slide talks about 78% of companies "running" on open source, but the big news to me is the small number: Only 3% of businesses say that they don't use OSS in any way. From my experience, I would guess that a high percentage of those who say they use no OSS are mistaken.

Open source is becoming a fundamental part of business everywhere, but I still see very little open source strategy at play. There is a huge opportunity for those companies willing to adopt a whole-company strategic mindset towards OSS.

Slide 13: Of the companies surveyed, 50% of engineers were working on OSS projects. There is definitely wiggle room in that number: not only is there selection bias, but "working on OSS" can mean anything from engaging with a community to sysadmin-ing Linux boxes. Still, the raw number is astounding. I believe that this is the reason why new developments and innovations are coming out just as often (or even more often) in the OSS world as in the proprietary world.

Slide 14: 88% of companies expect to increase their engagement with OSS over the next couple years. From a front-line developer perspective, this means that working on proprietary code will increasingly become a net negative. Expertise in a single-company application is less portable (and thus less valuable). Also see slide 20 about recruiting.

Slide 15: 53% of companies surveyed want to make it easier to contribute to OSS. Nevertheless, getting the business leaders and legal departments to agree with engineering can be hard. This is part of what I am going to be talking about at OSCON.

Slide 32: I found the list of the "most valuable OSS projects" surprising. I wonder what measurements they used. I hope it wasn't lines of code. :)

Read the whole thing.