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Open Source: At The Center of Leading Companies’ Digital Strategies

Christopher Howard

Open Source Lead, EPAM
Blog

As companies continue to navigate the fluctuating market amid the COVID-19 pandemic and customers demand more efficient and innovative digital platforms, embracing an information-sharing approach to software has never been more important. Adoption of open source software has quickly taken flight, with 99% of Fortune 500 companies currently using open source software and 35% of all enterprise software is based on open source code. This remarkable figure suggests that companies see open source as a path to innovation and proprietary advantage. With over 56 million developers contributing to open source projects and more than 140 million projects listed on GitHub, the sheer magnitude of the open source community has become too large for any C-suite executive to ignore.

Why is Open Source Growing?

Open source has been propelled to the center of many enterprises’ change management and software solutions strategy. Let’s explore why.

  • Avoiding vendor lock-in. Open source has become, for many CIOs, a favored alternative to vendor solutions that have high user licensing and software maintenance costs, yet limited feature sets that require significant customization and technical debt to meet business users’ requirements. The limitations associated with proprietary products create rigid tech stacks that can’t withstand today’s digital disruption and ongoing innovation. Open source, on the other hand, is quite the opposite. Libraries of readily available solutions lend enterprises the flexibility to select those that are the best fit for their business groups and the ability to customize them to meet their unique needs. This “take what you need” model has proven effective for achieving long-term digital sustainability through nimbleness, cost savings, and continuous improvement.
  • Accelerating enterprise innovation. Software crowdsourcing drives innovation by combining the best developer talent worldwide to tackle problems together. The open source community enables mass collaboration and experimentation at scale, harnessing an opportunity for innovation that no single organization can deliver on its own. More perspectives bring creative approaches to problem-solving and rapid innovation that is generally not achievable with traditional development frameworks. Open source also gives enterprises the opportunity to leverage high-quality accelerators and frameworks from the community to embrace agile development processes with faster time-to-market.
  • Increasing developer engagement. The global developer community embraces collaboration and volunteerism to create high quality solutions that benefit the entire community and provide clear benefits for organizations. For this reason, enterprises that adopt this progressive and forward-looking approach to software development find it easier to attract top talent from around the world, in turn boosting their own reputation and innovational capabilities. But it doesn’t stop with talent acquisition. Companies promoting open source within their organizations often experience high retention of top-notch developers – a clear competitive edge in age of the great resignation. Showcasing open source projects provides a window into the types of problems companies’ developer teams are solving, making it that much easier for them to attract top talent. 
The Bright Future of Open Source

With more and more companies embracing open source, EPAM believes it is important to track and highlight the organizations that contribute value to the open source community. EPAM’s Open Source Contributor Index (OSCI) uses an algorithm that ranks commercial organizations by the volume of their employees’ year-to-date open source contributions on GitHub. Using the OSCI, it’s clear to see that the adoption of open source has moved beyond only leading software and technology companies around the world. Financial services, automotive and life sciences represent just a few of the industries recognizing the strategic importance of open source within their models.

With a unique model that delivers reduced vendor lock-in, accelerated innovation and increased attractiveness to top develop talent, open source is quickly becoming the center of every enterprise’s digital strategy. 

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