Open source market analysis for dummies

The Open Source Business Conference (OSBC) in San Francisco this week has spurred an industry analysis report detailing “findings” which assert that open source technologies are leading innovation in major technology segments including mobile, cloud and big data.

Are they serious?

Open source innovation and cloud plus big data is all cutting edge then — and we need the sixth annual Future of Open Source Survey to tell us this by all accounts.

According to the marketing-spun perlustration habitués at BlackDuck Software, “The quality of open source, and the ability to continuously improve, is now one of the top reasons for its adoption.”

Are they serious?

Open source produces quality software does it? This is surely doing open source an injustice by failing to report on the core tenets and driving principles of what the open community contribution model really brings to software application development.

Plus — good proprietary software is known for EXACTLY the same reasons i.e. quality and continual improvement.

Did they mean to say that professionally managed open source software application development should (and indeed is) finding successful deployment in many fully-functioning enterprise-scale operations today in the same way that we may have only imagined proprietary software to do so ten of fifteen years ago?

If they did mean that, then why didn’t they say it?

More than 700 respondents – took part in the 2012 survey, including representatives from both vendor and non-vendor communities.

So is any of it of interest? Yes, here are the good bits…

• “Open source is leading, not following, in important areas including cloud, big data, mobile apps and enterprise mobility.”

• Respondents predicted that the top two trends for open source by 2015 will be the adoption of OSS in non-technical segments (e.g., health care, automotive, government) followed by general enterprise adoption, reflecting maturation in the OSS segment.

• Nearly half (43 percent) of respondents named “project maturity” as the most important factor when choosing an open source project for integration into a product or service.

Perhaps better than the fluffy “Open Innovation On Demand” headline that this story initially ran with, it would have been better reading…

Open Source Now Leading Mature Projects Across Wider Industry Verticals