Open Source Usage Spikes while the Economy Plummets

by October 14, 2020 0 comments

Open Source

The Dot Com Crash and the Great Recession contributed to the beginning of open source adoption

While the economy for the future is highly uncertain, financial sector finds loopholes to survive the crisis. One such instance is the Covid-19 pandemic that has pushed the world into an unprecedented financial crisis. When the time is bad and the fall seems to continue for a long time, companies started adopting an open source method to fight against the downfall.

Remarkably, this is not the first time that economic slowdown has boosted the adoption of both open sources and cloud technologies. Open source and everything that entails the system flourishes despite the market downfall. The best part about embracing open source is that it lifts up the entire community that is dependent on it. Open source is moulded by its community of users. The strong values and principles set by open source software for its members help them make better decisions, let there be best selves and leap forward as a unified community. Open source sees growth when the contributors increase.


Lessons from the past recessions

The most lucrative period of open source software is 2000 and 2008. These are the years when The Dot Com Crash and the Great Recession happened. It is quite a lingering question that how open source gained traction when the whole world was facing an economic downfall.

The reason behind it is that open source is free. This facilitates fewer burdens to the company that is already finding ways to save even a penny if possible. Recessions are the time when companies have constrained budget and cost-effectiveness. Open source felt like a handy solution that could prevent them from further failures. Ultimately, when the whole world was facing downfall, Red Hat, a public open source company increased its revenue by 11% every year in the great recession.

Almost after 20 years, fate has brought a repeat mode for the recession. After facing 2 economic turmoil and experiencing the best way out of it, companies have quickly chosen open source for standby.


Reasons to adopt open source

Using open source comes with a couple of relieves. Potentially, open source saves a ton of financial resources by simply implementing already existing software like Drupal rather than building something from the ground. Open source profit is like making money out of scratch. Another credit is that it gives a certain level of liberty. By using open source, the reliance on a single organisation is blocked. Remarkably, the chances of open source going bankrupt are slim making it more reliable.


Fast-tracks innovation by gathering information


Open source is a system where a lot of information, from here and there is gathered. There are hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world involved in open source software and its development. The enormous number of contribution from various sources reflects at the innovation fast-tracked innovation. Open source’s innovative powers are not limited to a single person or organisation, they stretch over the entire population. Anyone from the corner of a world can add features to the open source.


Survey findings from 2020 recession on open source


Tidelift, a major commercial support and maintenance company for community-led open source, conducted a survey on open source when the world is facing a third parallel recession due to the pandemic and falling economy.

Some of the findings on open source usages during the coronavirus recession are,

• 42% of the organisations reported that their application development costs were cut due to the pandemic which triggered 44% of the organisations to use open source as a rescue option.

• More than two-thirds of the surveyed people said that saving time and money is the major reason to use more open source, while 48% cited the increasing efficiency of application development and maintenance as the reason for embracing open source.

• Organisations with more than 1000 employees cited efficiency as a reason for encouraging open source.

• Around 40% of the organisations are shifting to open source as a way to replace expensive proprietary software and gain more control over future spending. While 37% of small organisations cite this as a reason for the adoption, 50% of the large organisation also side with the same view.

• Almost half of the leaders of the largest companies are encouraging moving to open-source methods and software.

• Formal processes around open source management are on the rise.

• 83% of those surveyed said their organisation contributes to open source. Of those, almost half have policies governing employee contributions to open source. The most popular way that organisations contribute to open source is through allocating employee time for coding, writing or otherwise supporting open source projects.

• The top three programming languages organisations rely on most are JavaScript, Python, and Java. JavaScript is used by 78%, while Python by 52% and Java by 66% and 32% by organisations and other groups.

• Large companies are often burdened by cumbersome open-source approval processes. At the same time, the new work from home IT teams is struggling to make good decisions about what components to use and how to identify and resolve security vulnerabilities.

• Only 18% of organisations are extremely confident that their open source components are secure, up-to-date and well maintained.

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