The words open-source on Information Technology (IT) industry have been always related with products that include permission to use the source code, design documents, or some content of the main source code. Furthermore, open-source companies are normally advocating for the free and collaborative communities in order to massify the development and feedback processes.
In other words, collaborative, sharing, open and community are probably the main keywords on the open-source developers, being all the aspects that proprietary software developer companies wanted to avoid in their product brochures, but why now open-source solutions have becoming a keyword for enterprises digital innovation? What role are called to play into the digital transformation?
Today’s businesses need to deliver highly differentiated, personalized customer experiences to stand out. What’s more, they need to be able to deliver a unified experience across all touchpoints. To meet these demands, an increasing number of businesses will turn to open source to fuel innovation and put control back in the hands of end users.
In 2016, Panelist Kathleen Kennedy, president of the MIT Technology Review, has remarked that today’s businesses have to stay competitive in a time of constrained budgets and ever-changing technology, defining open source as key to operating in that modality to help organizations to transform their infrastructures and data-driven demands. Besides, Ed Boyajian, president and CEO of EDB, further noted, if 80% to 90% of your IT budget is spending on maintenance services, including high cost of many proprietary software licensing, that leaves very little budget for innovation, impacting in a negative way your growing in the digital era.
By now, open source is well established as the place where software innovation happens. Reason why, we see it is further making its mark in some of the key trends we are already experiencing. Open source has retained its spot as a popular operating system in enterprise IT, with even more growth predicted. Besides, there is a mounting use of open-source platforms like Docker and Kubernetes. According to an ASHNIK  post on 2020, over 3.5 million applications have been placed in containers that use Docker technology, and over 37 billion containerized applications have been downloaded. Furthermore, companies with at least 60% of their DevOps portfolio as open source, a full 54% had reached the “fully deployed state”. In comparison, 20% of companies just managed to progress to DevOps due to lower levels of open-source usage.
The same publication highlights the role of the open-source concepts in the expansion of the multi-cloud and hybrid cloud services in the coming years. Multi-cloud is on the rise and open source will continue to disrupt the modern application stack. Newer studies reflect significant growth in enterprise usage trends around multi-cloud adoption, Kubernetes, and AWS cloud-native services adoption. An industry intelligence report, states 4 of the 6 tiers that make up the modern application stack have been disrupted by leading open source solutions containers, orchestration, infrastructure and application services. On the other hand, hybrid cloud strategy, along with edge computing, will disrupt cloud strategy in the next 3 years.
Open source tools, technologies and applications are becoming the heart of many of these transformation stories. Gartner predicts that by 2022, more than 70% of new in-house applications will be developed on an open source database management system and 50% of existing commercial relational database management system instances will have been converted or will be in the process of converting. The explosion of credible and mature enterprise open source options is moving even the most risk-averse organizations towards the adoption of open source solutions .
Without open source there wouldn’t be modern IT the way it is today, there wouldn’t be any cloud, there wouldn’t be, literally, anything that we’ve come to know. You wouldn’t have any, any of the modern cloud technologies that the web scale companies build on, for example. Open source has very much arrived in the enterprise, and it’s increasingly rare that we find ourselves confronted with a customer that doesn’t know what open source is, or that doesn’t understand how to interact with an open source company. Increasingly we’re seeing not only an adoption of open source in the enterprise, but a reliance on open source in the enterprise.
In parallel, IT enterprises will keep investing in open source solutions. Some recent examples are coming from Microsoft paid a cool $7.5 billion for GitHub or the 34 billion paid by IBM for Red Hat acquisition in late-2018. In any case, expect the biggest names in software to keep putting money into open source disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and blockchain going from nice-to-have ideas to become a foundational part of digital transformation strategies for enterprises across virtually all industries .
In future posts, we will be continue writing about technology and business trends for enterprises. Furthermore, we recommend consulting the following literature to continue your digital transformation journey:
- Designed for Digital: How to Architect Your Business for Sustained Success, MIT review
- The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives, by Simon & Schuster
- Artificial Intelligence: The Insights You Need, by Harvard Business Review
- The Year in Tech, 2021: The Insights You Need, by Harvard Business Review
- The Deep Learning Revolution, by MIT Press
- Competing in the Age of AI, by Harvard Review Press
The objective of this blog is to provide a personal vision of how digital transformation trends will be impacting in our daily activities, businesses and lifestyle.