Open source software was first introduced in the enterprise by developers who used it in secret. CIOs and other managers would assert there wasn’t any open source within their walls only to uncover multiple skunkworks projects built on and with open source. Over the last decade, the use of open source software and tools has gone mainstream and today developers and managers alike understand and reap the benefits. Today no one gets fired for using open source.
But while using open source is an old hat, the active formation of open source projects is relatively new. For instance, Linux was started by developers and then later was adopted by enterprise. Today a new trend is emerging: companies understanding that to keep pace with a fast-changing market they need to form and participate fully in open source projects from the beginning. Companies are learning that they can leverage external R&D with their own internal efforts to produce software faster and cheaper.
Companies in diverse industries across the globe are increasingly joining together to share development resources and build common open source code bases on which they can diversify their own products and services. These methods are dramatically disrupting the way technologies are being built and distributed: Linux, OpenStack, Hadoop, OpenDaylight and more are changing the way developers and business managers approach the world’s most complex technology challenges.
We now have data to confirm and illustrate this trend in more tangible terms. The Linux Foundation today is releasing the first-ever Collaborative Development Trends Report at our annual Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit. It surfaces new data that helps us understand how developers and business managers are working collaboratively to leverage open source to its fullest extent.
We’ve witnessed this disruption over the last few years as more and more companies, organizations and individuals have come to us for guidance on how best to set up a collaborative software project. The way Linux is built has now become the template for companies who want to start new software projects, because the method is proven and the benefits are many.
The business managers and executives surveyed for the report said they’re enjoying benefits such as faster time-to-market, reduced R&D costs, better relationships with customers and partners, improved product quality, competitive edge, increased organizational transparency and increased ability to recruit and retain talent. Developers, too, are winning with exposure to new tools and development practices, significant growth in their skill set, and a large, strong knowledge base from which to draw expertise and support.
Companies are also finding collaborative development to be an effective way to navigate a changing market. Just as Linux helped the enterprise market quickly adapt to a cloud-based world, collaborative development is helping the consumer electronics market deliver on the promise of the Internet of Everything; the networking space build more intelligent, software-defining networking infrastructure; and the mobile computing industry to reach far beyond fancy phones. One need not look further than the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit itself for even more evidence of the diverse industries and technologies now involved in collaborative development.
A few years ago at this same event we released a video that illustrates the way Linux is built. It’s fitting that we are releasing a report this year at the event that illustrates how projects being created today borrow best practices from this model to accelerate product innovation and share R&D investments. The Linux kernel community pioneered this approach to software development and its success is an inspiration.
To download today’s report, please visit: http://www.linuxfoundation.org/publications/linux-foundation/collaborative-development-trends-report-2014
You can get the bullet points in the news release here: https://www.linuxfoundation.org/news-media/announcements/2014/03/linux-foundation-releases-first-ever-collaborative-development
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