What CIOs don't know about open source software

Even companies contributing to open source projects have little understanding of open source usage.

cw feb2016 open source
Stephen Sauer

More companies are contributing to open source projects, but the management of open source software is still chaotic.

Those are two of the findings of the 2016 Future of Open Source survey from Black Duck Software, a maker of products to help secure and manage open source code.

The survey of over 1,300 developers, development managers, architects, CIOs, CSOs and CEOs from 64 countries found that many companies that previously downloaded and used open source software without contributing to any projects are starting to give something back to the community. Sixty-seven percent of companies said they now actively encourage their developers to engage in and contribute to relevant open source projects, and one in three have full-time resources dedicated to open source projects.

"I call it the second stage of open source adoption," says Jeffrey Hammond, a principal analyst at Forrester Research. "It used to be that companies said, 'We let developers contribute, but only in their own time, using their own email.' Now they are saying that they want their developers to contribute to projects under the company name."

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