Open Source Program Management 2020 Survey Results

The TODO Group is happy to announce the third 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/2020.

Key findings include:

  • Use of open source remains stable, and a new generation of companies are increasing their engagement with open source communities. The increased engagement is not because organizations with OSPOs are contributing more – 72% contribute code upstream, which is practically identical to the 2018 results. Instead, it is because organizations planning an OSPO are more likely to regularly create their own open projects, going from 35% in 2018 to 42% in 2020. Organizations planning an OSPO are also more likely to be influencing open source projects via leadership or maintainer roles, going from 18% to 24% over the last few years.

  • Financial Services, Healthcare and Government all saw increased involvement with open source. Almost half (47%) of financial firms involved with the survey are contributing code upstream, a jump from 29% last year. Healthcare and government organizations saw a similar increase, but these industry verticals are still less likely to have a formal policy governing use and contribution to open source.

  • Large organizations are more likely to have open source policies, while smaller organizations look for help influencing the broader community. Seventy percent of respondents at an organization with over 1,000 employees have a formal policy governing the use of open source dependencies. In contrast, only 49% of the 2-250 employee cohort have that type of policy. Compared to those with more than 1,000 employees, the smaller organizations are twice as likely to say the top benefits of operating an OSPO are lower licensing fees and support costs.

  • The economy impacts existing open source program offices. In light of recent macroeconomic conditions, 37% believe funding for their initiative will increase in the upcoming fiscal year, while only 13% expect a decline. This optimistic outlook is being driven by nimble, smaller organizations looking to save money using open source.

  • The benefits of OSPOs and open source foundations continue to be appreciated. Compared to 2019, respondents are slightly less likely to say an open source program is critical to the success of their engineering or product teams, but 56% still say it is very or extremely critical for success. Older programs are more valuable than younger ones, indicating that they have had success integrating into company processes.

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 !