Black Duck Survey: Open Source More Popular than Ever for Companies

Open source is now companies' "default approach" to software and open source's presence within the business world, which has nearly doubled since 2010. That's according to the latest "Annual Future of Open Source" report from Black Duck Software.

Christopher Tozzi, Contributing Editor

November 24, 2015

2 Min Read
Black Duck Survey: Open Source More Popular than Ever for Companies

Open source is now companies’ “default approach” to software, and open source’s presence within the business world and the use of open source has nearly doubled since 2010. That’s according to the latest “Annual Future of Open Source” report from Black Duck Software.

The report, which is the ninth such study, revealed several notable trends:

  • 78 percent of respondents report running their operations in part or in whole on open source software. That’s a nearly two-fold increase from 42 percent in 2010.

  • More than 66 percent of respondents say they consider open source before other software options, making open source the “default approach for software,” according to Black Duck.

These numbers highlight just how pervasive open source has become even within companies that may have scoffed at it a decade ago.

The study also offered some insight as to why open source has gained such traction in the corporate world. Notable findings include:

  • 58 percent of respondents say open source provides more scalability.

  • 55 percent of respondents believe open source provides better security than proprietary software.

Most notably, the Black Duck study suggests that the rapid adoption of open source by companies has outpaced their ability to manage it. Fewer than half of respondents said their company has a formal policy in place for managing open source software, while barely a quarter report policies on employee contributions to open source projects.

Most respondents also said they did not understand known security issues in open source software to their satisfaction — which presumably means that they are not sure how to respond when security vulnerabilities in an open source platform are disclosed. But that apparently does not detract significantly from faith in the overall security of open source code, which many survey respondents view as more secure than the proprietary alternative, as noted above.

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About the Author(s)

Christopher Tozzi

Contributing Editor

Christopher Tozzi started covering the channel for The VAR Guy on a freelance basis in 2008, with an emphasis on open source, Linux, virtualization, SDN, containers, data storage and related topics. He also teaches history at a major university in Washington, D.C. He occasionally combines these interests by writing about the history of software. His book on this topic, “For Fun and Profit: A History of the Free and Open Source Software Revolution,” is forthcoming with MIT Press.

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