If you’re a software developer, you’ve probably already used open-source code in some of your projects. Until recently, however, people who aren’t software developers probably thought “open source” referred to a new type of bottled water. But all that’s beginning to change. Now you can find open-source versions of everything from Shakespeare to geospatial tools. In fact, the first laptop built almost entirely on open source hardware just hit the market. In the article announcing the new device, Wired noted that, “Open source hardware is beginning to find its own place in the world, not only among hobbyists but inside big companies such as Facebook.”
Open source technology has moved from experiment to mainstream partly because the concept itself has matured. Companies that used to zealously guard their proprietary software or hardware may now be building some or all of it on open-source code and even giving back to the relevant communities. Plus repositories like GitHub, Bitbucket, and SourceForge make access to open-source code easy.
In its annual “Future of Open Source Survey,” North Bridge Venture Partners summarized 3 reasons support for open source is broadening:
1. Quality: Thanks to strong community support, the quality of open-source offerings has improved dramatically. They now compete with proprietary or commercial equivalents on features–and can usually be deployed more quickly. Goodbye vendor “lock-in.”
2. Innovation: Security concerns and licensing fees are traditional barriers to the adoption of any new software; however, the popularity of open-source technologies is causing a massive cultural shift across industries. Today’s executives admit they’re more likely to work with the relevant open-source communities to influence projects and spur innovation (think “crowd-sourcing”).
3. Growth: The open-source principles of collaboration, transparency, and speed are starting to influence the very market sectors most weighed down by process and slowest to change: government, healthcare, and media. Rather than just being a free or low-cost alternative, open-source technology is now leveling the playing field and opening up new opportunities.
The proof’s in the numbers
Still not convinced 2014 is the year of open source? Take a few minutes to check out the stats in our infographic and then consider these figures:
$8 billion – the size of the global open-source software market in 2013
95% – the number of mainstream IT organization that will use some element of open source software (directly or indirectly) in mission-critical IT solutions
140% – the increase in interest in purchasing open-source software over the past 4 years
85% – the portion of all commercial software packages that will include open-source technology in 2014
By choosing open-source technology, companies can keep up with solutions that continually evolve based on community innovations. That’s why GoGrid has partnered with leading Big Data providers to offer an easy way to evaluate and deploy their open-source solutions. With our 1-Button Deploy™ technology, you can provision a complete Cassandra, MongoDB, Riak, or HBase with Hadoop 2.0 development or production environment in about 10 minutes. Now you can skip months of development time and focus on what really matters: your core business. To increase the speed of innovation in your organization, take one of our 1-Button Deploy™ solutions out for a free 2-week test-drive. Before the trial ends, we think you’ll be ready to join the Open Data Services (ODS) movement, too.
Latest posts by Barbara Jurin (see all)
- Infographic: 2014 – The Year of Open Source? - April 8, 2014
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