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Open Source Software Making Broad Strides Across the IT Landscape

More than half of respondents believe that more than half of software purchases made in the next five years will be open source

Once viewed in some quarters as a fringe movement and unreliable, open-source software is now a dominant force in the IT industry. It has been embraced by both the public and the private sectors and is being implemented across a wide variety of markets and applications such as social publishing and big data.

These are among the results of the fifth annual Future of Open Source Survey conducted by North Bridge Venture Partners in partnership with The 451 Group. More than 450 IT professionals took part in the survey with end users making up 60 percent of the respondents, who were asked about a wide range of issues that affect the open-source landscape. Most of those responding see an ever brighter future for open source.

Among the other findings:

  • The open source community is now more focused on maturing technology concerns, including improved operational excellence around areas such as support, product management, feature functionality and return on investment, as opposed to earlier concerns around the legal implications of licensing and conforming to internal policies.

    More than half -- 56 percent -- of respondents believe that more than half of software purchases made in the next five years will be open source.


  • Respondents identified software as a service (SaaS), cloud and mobile computing as the main areas that can have a dramatic impact on open source and a virtually untapped opportunity for growth.
  • More than half -- 56 percent -- of respondents believe that more than half of software purchases made in the next five years will be open source.
  • An overwhelming 95 percent of respondents noted that a turbulent economy continues to be “good” for open source software, though for the first year ever, lower cost has been overtaken by freedom from vendor lock-in as what makes open-source software more attractive.
  • When asked about revenue generating strategies likely to create value for vendors, 56 percent of the respondents said that an annual, repeatable support and service agreement was the most likely.

The survey results were released during the opening panel at Computerworld’s OSBC conference which featured open source industry leaders: Jim Whitehurst, President and CEO, Red Hat; Mike Olson, CEO, Cloudera; Adrian Kunzle, Managing Director, Head of Firmwide Engineering and Architecture, JPMorgan Chase; Tom Erickson, CEO, Acquia; and was chaired by Michael Skok, General Partner, North Bridge Venture Partners.

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