The future of open source is now slated for growth as more business look to the open community for solutions, to overcome the inevitable lock-in with a vendor of proprietary software. This was brought to the forefront in a recent survey called Future of Open Source Survey 2012, by 451 Research and some partners.
The survey highlights the nuances of open source software and its use percentage in the industry. While at one end there are dramatic changes in favour of Open source software, others have been slow-changers. It also reinforced the lack of complete awareness of open source software in some quarters of the industry. The survey also established open source software’s growing capabilities in coding for enterprises, computing environment or webscale.
A total of 740 vendors and non-vendors within the industry, participated in the survey.
The survey reports that the core of open source software’s contribution has been in two major sectors- first in Seeding the Clouds and the second in Mobility Matters. Secondly, on the question of open source innovations to drive the industry, maximum number of the respondents (40%) claimed that it would be in the cloud computing domain. This was followed by 34% of the respondents expecting mobile apps growth (about 19% of those surveyed) while another 15% believe that, open source innovation will in the areas of mobile technologies for the enterprise. Another 10% of the people expected that open source would contribute to the ‘analytics’ sphere of software.
And this is true as most of the projects currently in progress are in these sectors and contribution from the community is growing.
In the second half of the survey, the question was what prevented open source platform adoption over proprietary software and this was where the answers were more dramatic: the most important reason why users would not look towards open source solutions is a lack of familiarity with the platform and what it can do (and this response was by 48% of those surveyed). Another 47% believe the lack of open source software skills amongst their internal staff prevented the use of open source software. Another 35% feared the lack of technical support from a vendor as the reason for non-adoption of open source software. There was significant number of respondents (33%) who reasoned that there would extensive legal concerns about licensing in the use of open source software.
The significance of the survey is in the fact that the survey successfully highlighted the growing number of enterprises looking towards open source platform to overcome the hassles of vendor lock-in. This was the response of more than 60% of the respondents. Another 51% proposed that the lower investments required for open source setup and 43% responded better quality of solutions and another 42% attributing the availability of source code as the principal drivers to adopt open source platform.