Open Source Finds Its Way Into Mobile, Cloud, Big Data
Mobile computing, cloud computing and analyzing huge amounts of data are among the top IT trends in 2012 and are also the focus of the Open Source Business Conference (OSBC) 2012 that begins May 21 in San Francisco.
About 40 percent of the new open-source projects started in 2011 were related to cloud computing, 19 percent were for creating mobile applications and 15 percent were mobile-enterprise related, according to a survey of open-source vendors and non-vendors released on the first day of the conference.
There were 10,000 new mobile open-source projects started in 2011, up from 4,000 in 2010, according to the survey by Black Duck Software, which helps businesses develop, deploy and manage open-source software. Black Duck released an annual report on the top 10 new open-source projects of the year.
As further evidence of the increasing adoption of open-source software, the survey revealed that 32 percent of respondents said that at least 75 percent of the computer code used in their organization is open-source code and that 30 percent said that between 51 percent and 75 percent of their code is open source.
Also, the top three advantages to using open-source software are avoiding vendor lock-in with proprietary software, lowering costs and the quality of the software. This is the first survey in which quality made it into the top three; in past surveys, quality concerns were a top risk associated with open source.
"Quality is now in the top three reasons why open source is attractive," said Peter Vescuso, executive vice president for marketing and business development at Black Duck Software. "It's not like it's a long time ago, but one of the reasons held up for not using open source was the concern about quality."
Still, there are issues that are still holding back wider adoption of open source. Forty-eight percent of respondents cited lack of familiarity with open-source solutions, 47 percent cited a lack of internal technical skills and 35 percent cited a lack of formal commercial vendor support.
Presentations at the OSBC will delve into open-source mobile applications, big data analytics projects, such as the Apache Hadoop project, and open-source's role in cloud computing. The conference will also include a keynote address by Sandy Gupta, general manager of the open solutions group at Microsoft.
While Microsoft has made billions of dollars selling proprietary software, it has also embraced open source and enabled interoperability with its software and open-source software. At OSBC 2011, Gupta announced that Microsoft would support the community version of the open-source Linux operating system on top of its existing support for commercial versions of Linux.
The survey also showed that employers look for open-source experience in new hires for software development positions. Thirty-five percent look for experience with a variety of open-source projects and 28 percent look for experience contributing code to a project in evaluating potential new hires.
And young people entering the workforce readily embrace open-source software, said Black Duck's Vescuso.
"If you talk to a young developer today, there's no difference to them" between open source and proprietary software, he said. "This is the way they learned it in school. It's not even visible to them that this is an issue."