Cloud Native / Open Source

How Open Source Policies Vary Across Industry Verticals

23 Jan 2020 10:27am, by

We’re coming to the point where levels of open source use are relatively similar across different industries. Across a range of verticals, businesses are increasingly developing the same cloud native and open source as practices as software industry leaders. Yet, there is still significant variation in how industry verticals have adopted specific policies meant to promote and support open source.

47% Have a Policy Governing the Use of Open Source in Products. Healthcare (33%%) and Retail (28%) Are Lagging

Generally speaking, companies that use open source code are also more likely to contribute to upstream projects. Software, IT, telecom and media companies lead in terms of both adoption and contribution to open source. Companies in these industries are also understandably more likely to have created an open program office or, at the very least, formal open source policies.

Traditionally, regulated industries have been slower to adopt open source technology due to legal and security concerns. For most industries, legal obstacles appear to have been at least partly overcome by improved awareness and acceptance of open source licensing and compliance. Yet, there are still outliers.

For example, 47% of respondents to an open source survey — conducted by The Linux Foundation’s TODO Group, VMware and The New Stack — already said their companies have a formal policy governing the use of open source code (dependencies) in commercial products. Yet, healthcare and retail firms are significantly less likely to be this far along. Additional details about industry vertical can be found our last article about the study. In addition, here are links to three previously published charts providing more industry perspective:

Bonus Chart

Financial, Utilities, Retail, Healthcare Use Open Source Code in Commercial Products, But Less Likely to Contribute Upstream

Some industries take more from open source than they make. For example, financial services ranks third out of 13 in terms of using open source in commercial products, but comes in eighth place in terms of upstream contributions. The disparity is even greater for utilities. On the flip side, industries like education were less likely to be using open source in commercial code at least partly because they are less likely to maintain a for-profit offering.

The Linux Foundation and VMware are sponsors of The New Stack.

Feature image via Pixabay

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