Use of open source software is growing but challenges remain

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The use of open source software is becoming more commonplace in organizations of all sizes, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t barriers to adoption.

The 2022 State of Open Source Report sponsored by the Open Source Initiative (OSI) and Perforce Software was released on February 15 to provide insight into current open source trends. The study surveyed 2,660 IT professionals worldwide, the majority of whom said that the overall use of open source is growing within their organizations.

The report found that 77% of organizations increased their use of open source software during 2021. Using open source is also not about moving away from proprietary tools at this point.

“Essentially, it’s not about migrating to open source anymore, it’s about starting open source,” said Javier Perez, chief OSS evangelist at Perforce. ITPro today. “Programming languages ​​and frameworks are all dominated by open source options.”

Why the use of open source software is increasing

The use of open source software covers almost all categories of computing.

The open source report found that the most widely used type of open source software is programming languages ​​and frameworks, with 39% of respondents. Close behind are databases and data technologies at 36%, followed by operating systems at 34%.

Open source is not just a one-way consumption model; contributions can be made and a community of users can participate in the development. According to the report, 32% of organizations contribute to open source projects. Going further, 30% of respondents said their organizations had developed new software available as open source in public git source code repositories.

It is also worth noting the level of support for open source organizations. Seventy-nine percent of respondents indicated that their organization supports at least one open source organization.

Identify the main challenges of open source software

The study identified a series of challenges to the adoption of open source software.

The top issue — identified by 30% of respondents — is a lack of internal skills, while 27% said restrictions in some open source licenses are a cause for concern. Twenty-one percent of respondents are concerned that open source is not as scalable as commercial software.

Additionally, the open source report shows that there is clearly more awareness around all things open source security, according to Perez.

“Keeping up with updates and patches is one of the biggest support challenges when using open source. It speaks to the global awareness of tracking patches that fix vulnerabilities,” he said. -he declares.

Perez added that vulnerabilities in popular open source libraries such as Log4j, Spacers and OpenSSL have brought greater awareness and better software development lifecycle practices to the use of open source.

“The report shows that it didn’t scare anyone away from open source,” he said.

Open source program desktops are needed

A key finding of the 2022 State of Open Source report is that only 15% of respondents said their organizations had an open source program office (OSPO).

When organizations not only use open source but also create open source, they define a strategy for contributing and investing in open source software, Perez said. To drive an open source strategy, organizations need a team to manage and provide governance for all of this activity, which by nature is distributed, he added.

“All major organizations that contribute to open source have an OSPO, and mature organizations see the benefits of having an OSPO to drive strategy and operations forward,” Perez said. “Fifteen percent is still low, but we expect it to be trending up.”

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