What Do Open Source Surveys reveal?

Black Duck today released the results of a survey asking 20 developer executives from 14 global enterprises about the top technology trends and about barriers to greater use of open source software in development projects. The 2010 edition of the “future of open source” published a survey reporting feedback from 551 respondents (48% vendors, 52% non vendors), giving feedback about what makes open source attractive and top 3 barriers to open source adoption.

Open Source Statistics

Within the collaboration with IBM Italy to organize a series of meeting for Italian public administrations we asked to 16 IT public decision makers using open source – mostly innovators and early adopters – about open source critical success factors, barriers and open source governance.

Highlights of the results include:

  • 44% of respondents are running open source pilots, the same quantity of respondents are running projects involving 100 end-users, while less than 10% of them are actually managing projects involving 1000 end-users or more;
  • 60% of respondents use open source in mission-critical environments;
  • among critical-success factor the top priorities are software performance, avoiding lock-in and security; surprisingly the cost factor has been considered not important;
  • among top barriers to open source adoption the top 3 are: in-house skill shortage, lack of support and fear of change;
  • only two of them have in place an open source policy.

Looking at the similarities with the BlackDuck survey, both groups of respondents are still only partially harnessing the potential cost savings of open source usage, and the general lack of open source policies for procurement and management of OSS.

Looking at the differences with the Future of Open Source survey, only freedom of vendor lock-in makes open source attractive for both groups, while innovation and lower costs are not of great importance for Italian respondents.

Henry Clay was absolutely right, saying that  (open source) statistics are no substitute for judgment!