2012 Future of Open Source Survey: Get your LPIC now!

Announced last month at the Open Source Business Conference in San Francisco were the results of the "2012 Future of Open Source Survey Results".  This is the sixth annual report on Open Source produced by North Bridge Venture Partners and Black Duck Software.

The survey, conducted in partnership with The 451 Group, reported that OSS is leading, not following, in major technology segments including mobile, cloud and big data and that 50% of the software solutions adopted in the next 5 years will be OSS.  Also notable is the trend by non-technical industry verticals (e.g. health care, automotive and government) to adopt OSS in the coming years.

Long time Open Source advocates and Linux professionals may be tempted to respond to most of the survey results with the proverbial "What else is new?" (or as one blogger put it: "Are they serious?") but there is much good news in this report to celebrate and some important hints for aspiring Linux and OSS service providers.

The "Good News":

  • OSS deployment is reaching a tipping point: 32% of the survey respondents reported that OSS deployment has reached 75% and a further 30% indicate that OSS will make up between 51 - 75% of software deployment
  • Trends driving OSS adoption are enterprise and non-technical segments--with companies over 1000 rating OSS adoption as most important
  • OSS is attractive due to freedom from vendor lock-in, lower costs, AND quality.  In previous years security and flexibility rated higher than quality.
  • Industries most impacted by OSS in 2012 will be data management (44%), health/medical/life sciences (23%) and financial services (12%)
  • Project maturity is a leading cause of OSS adoption
  • The most important aspects of OSS driving hiring is experience with a variety of projects (35%) and code contributions (28%)

"Key Challenges":

  • Linux professionals may want to take heed that top barriers to OSS adoption are unfamiliarity with OSS solutions (48%), lack of internal technical skills (47%) and lack of formal commercial vendor support (35%).  Advance your LPI certifications and promote your attainment of the same--customers and employers are going to need to know you can help them overcome perceived OSS barriers.
  • Industry verticals (such as automotive, financial services, aerospace, government, health sciences and Open SaaS) are prime recruiting grounds for those with Linux and Open Source know-how. It has never looked brighter for holders of LPIC!
  • 2011 was a record year for OSS investment, which increased by 49% to $675M.  This will also lead to increased HR challenges for finding IT professionals with the right set of demonstrable OSS skills.  Get your LPIC now!
  • Revenue generating strategies that will create the most value for vendors and service providers will be annual, repeatable support and service agreements. Again, technical support services that employ LPI certified personnel have some significant opportunities in the years ahead.

Survey Background:

Over 700 respondents participated in the survey from both vendor and non-vendor communities and included 25 collaborators--a veritable who's who of the Open Source community.

The survey results were released during the opening panel at Computerworld’s OSBC conference (www.osbc.com/). The panel featured Open Source industry leaders Tim Yeaton, President & CEO, Black Duck Software; Tom Erickson, CEO, Acquia; Ryan Garner, VP, Direct-to-Consumer Services, Warner Music Group; and Gil Yehuda, Director of Open Source and Open Standards, Yahoo! Inc. The panel was chaired by Michael Skok, General Partner, North Bridge Venture Partners.

(PLEASE NOTE: all images in this blog post are from the slideshow "2012 Future of Open Source Survey Results" with the exception of the "tipping point" image above which is from http://northbridge.com/open-source-drives-software-innovation)