Open Source Program Management 2019 Survey Results

The TODO Group is happy to announce the second annual Open Source Program Management Survey results that examines the prevalence and outcomes of open source programs among the Global Fortune 2000, including the key benefits and barriers to adoption. We have open sourced all of our survey results and graphics: https://github.com/todogroup/survey/tree/master/2019.

Key findings include:

  • Adoption of open source programs and initiatives is widespread and goes beyond early adopters. More than half (52%) of the 2,700 study participants either have a formal or informal program or their company is planning to create one, which is one percentage point less than last year. Despite tripling the study’s sample size, many of the study’s findings as well its demographic profile remained remarkably similar compared to last year. We see this as a validation of last year’s report.
  • Expectations for open source program management have begun to crystalize. Fostering an open source culture continues to be the top responsibility of these programs. However, the results show culture is less likely to be seen as a benefit when defined as interactions between departments as opposed to general digital transformation and agility. Compared to last year, facilitating the effective use of open source in commercial products and services rose from the fifth to the second most cited responsibility.
  • Hiring of open source developers is a more prominent concern. Mentions of developer recruitment and retention as a primary benefit of open source programs rose from 31% in 2018 to 36% in the latest study. Forty-two percent of companies planning a program say they are at least sometimes hiring developers to work on an open source project, up from 33% in 2018.
  • Companies highly value their open source foundation memberships. Of the 23% that are a member or sponsor of a foundation, 57% say their organization is getting high value from the investment; in contrast, only 7% are seeing low value.
  • Code quality associated with open source software practices. Forty-one percent of participants with OSS management initiatives say these programs are responsible for ensuring high quality and frequent releases to open source communities. In open-ended questions, many respondents discussed how code review processes instituted by OSS programs had a positive impact on code quality.
  • There is no consensus about the impact of open source citizenship on buying decisions. Twenty-nine percent say their perception of a company’s open source participation is very influential on their organization’s buying decisions but 32% say it is slightly or not at all influential.

As an organization, we are committed to advancing the state of open source program management across the industry and will be performing this survey on an annual basis. We look forward to community feedback on this survey and how we can improve it in the future.

If you’re interested in starting an open source program or collaborating with your peers in open source program management, please consider joining the TODO Group!