The basic nature of open source software is changing from project-based, developer-driven community initiatives to vendor-driven and vendor-owned software. This is a key conclusion from Saugatuck’s latest open source research study, “Power, Speed and Assimilation: Open Source Changes the Industry, and the Industry Changes Open Source.”

Highlights from the study include:

  • The same factors that attract users to open source – lower costs and reduced times of development, and reduced dependency on vendor-specific technologies – have attracted commercial software vendors to use and incorporate open source into their offerings and portfolios.
  • The involvement of commercial software vendors, including such traditional IT Master Brands as IBM and Microsoft, is a key factor in the rapid acceleration of open source adoption and use throughout world markets.
  • Open source software is seen as delivering significant business value to user firms, and is considered viable and valuable in all aspects of user enterprise software and systems.
  • The breadth and depth of open source presence within user firms is becoming impractical to measure, and less of a useful metric for open source evolution and influence in markets. Commercial vendor development, release, adoption and use of open source software are a more accurate measure of open source’s market presence and influence.

“It’s safe to say that open source software is not what anyone thought it was, or would be,” stated Saugatuck Managing Director Bruce Guptill, the study’s lead author. “Open source’s rampant commercialization has accelerated its adoption and change well beyond what most IT executives and software industry executive ever perceived or predicted.”
The study is available at Saugatuck’s Web site.

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