The rise of open-source in the pandemic economy

The rise of open-source in the pandemic economy

Enterprises are now keen to make a shift to open-source software solutions and especially so since 2020. Open-source software supports organizations with the growing market demands of making things happen quickly while never compromising on the quality front. Come the pandemic and these enterprises felt the challenges posed to not just the economy but also to their existing processes and frameworks. The manner and the pace at which consumers consume technology has been going through a drastic transformation.

All of us who are familiar with open source technology solutions already know that it comes with remarkable benefits. And what brings more confidence to this technology is the recent adoption of the same by tech giants like Microsoft, Oracle & IBM. This migration to open-source platforms is continued ever since 2020 as many enterprises both large and small realize the fundamental rewards that this technology is able to offer in the tough pandemic situation. Amidst the ongoing shifts in the operations and staffing that organizations are going through because of the uncertainties posed by the pandemic, open-source is able to support them by cutting unnecessary costs and allowing them to innovate all at the same time.

How does the pandemic accelerate open-source adoption?

A lot of the companies may not be keen on publicizing their internal tooling and infrastructure strategy movements, however, GitHub data suggest that these have a lot to do with open source solutions. As per GitHub; 72% of the Fortune 50 companies were using GitHub Enterprises, which runs the GitHub services on their local networks between 2019-2020. Read the report here. The adoption spiked during the first wave of the pandemic when the schools were shutting down, travel was being banned, visitors were not allowed to move and amidst the mass lockdowns. 2020 nevertheless was an interesting year from the technology perspective because everything got accelerated and we were trying to come to terms with the next tech revolution! Open-source projects kind of shot up after March 2020. A new door opened up for technology talent from 2020 onwards as per Rodriguez, VP GitHub. Previously enterprises were limited to geographies and were able to hire within their geographical proximity. However, with the transition to ‘work-from-home’ or ‘work-from-anywhere', things got more exciting! Now there were no restrictions. A host of software developers were already using the open-source platforms. And it was easier to bring the solutions to the enterprises. This was done at an accelerated pace and enterprises were able to adapt and evolve simultaneously. The pandemic was able to accelerate the existing tech trends. This helped in amplifying the growing shift towards open-source software solutions. This was because the organizations were working remotely with the workforce having to use more custom applications internally to innovate their IT infrastructure. And they had to do it at a quick pace with the support of reusable codes. The organizations were keen to retain the developers by letting them use the code of their preference.

This leads us to the question of how feasible it can be to make a transit towards open-source technology solutions?

How to migrate seamlessly to open-source technology solutions?

A host of big tech giants may have the necessary resources at their disposal to make a transition to open-source software solutions. However, we may wonder how can smaller enterprises or development teams migrate seamlessly to open-source adoption? How can they employ the many benefits that open-source technology solutions come with?

One of the many ways to make a smooth transit to an open-source technology platform is to begin using a management platform that monitors the many components in use. Because the open-source technology is continuing to expand, hence the management companies that develop the management platform are also coming up in both numbers and quality. They are able to support enterprises with wholesome solutions that focus on working on the management of platforms. They offer end to end infrastructure for maintaining open-source components backed by experienced project managers.

Through the many discussions about the myriad benefits of open-source technology solutions we are able to learn that the developer community has a very strong affinity and loyalty towards open-source technology adoption, as per Todd More, VP Technology IBM. “We’ve seen large organizations come around to embracing open source more than ever in this last decade, and we expect that to increase as it becomes an even more pivotal part of software development,” he told LinuxInsider.

Open-source adoption speeds up the overall functioning of the organization

In March 2020 the internet traffic skyrocketed by over 30%. This was true for platforms offering online learning and also telecommunication. This marked the shift in the way consumers were consuming technology. This challenged the Enterprise IT departments to create and manage the communication tools quickly and efficiently. Such enterprise IT teams, most of them working completely remotely, now had to work around new kinds of applications and develop them quickly within weeks rather than months. Hence organizations spent more time researching and figuring out ways of adopting open-source platforms for internal tools development to make things move quickly. If an enterprise is aware that a certain open-source technology works they will waste no time in developing a prototype and the cycle might have changed by the following week. Enterprises are also able to adopt open-source more rapidly because the tolerance for making minor mistakes and moving faster has gone up. The enterprises are clamouring for data and they are looking ahead to disrupt their data ecosystems quickly. Rather than planning for 3 years to draw digital retooling software the enterprises were looking for immediate answers within 3 months! Waiting to purchase any proprietary software was also a huge investment decision. The cost and speed of deployment of the proprietary software were real roadblocks felt by a host of organizations. Hence there was a lot of willingness to adopt open-source software solutions without incurring any huge costs.

Open-source adoption brings novelty and innovation within the IT teams

As per the findings of the Linux Foundation Report back in 2020 93% of the managers found it challenging to recruit developers with open-source software skill sets. While 37% of the hiring managers wanted to hire more skilled IT professionals, in spite of the pandemic’s economic havoc. The companies were actually expanding their developer base. The goals of the organizations now more than ever before revolve around what innovation their IT teams are able to bring forth. Organizations are always trying to create innovative software, hence they need more developers to make it right. And if the organizations are trying to have more of the developers, it also means that you are using the best tools and harbouring best practices to sustain through times. This could be another reason why open-source adoption accelerated in 2020 as per Rodriguez. The open-source community on a regular basis organizes seminars and conferences for groups and companies to make code more accessible for all. The developers are also contributing to repositories and developing their personal projects through the use of open-source code. A host of data engineers and data scientists work with open-source technology. It may not be doubted that open-source is able to bring about an internal transformation. The organizations are also contributing open-source tools to the community. Such contributions are definitely going to support them with visibility and relevance.

Open-source adoption can drive innovation with code reuse and existing tools

The developers are now able to build tools and apps quickly and in volumes with the adoption of open-source technology trends. They are able to reuse the open-source code rather than beginning from very scratch. Organizational IT teams are also able to integrate the open-source tooling into their prevalent workflows to be able to manage their data more efficiently. This control is quite necessary given the pandemic’s overall shift towards everything digital. This can increase the amount of data to load. Today we are creating more apps than ever before. And the number of open-source apps are also at an all-time high. This has been possible through our ability to reuse the code. A lot of the companies use open-source technology largely because their scale of work prevents them from going for any commercial product.  Maintaining the same flow of products may require additional speed of deployment while working in a competitive COVID-19 era.

As per Mc Kinsey report, the North American business was able to accelerate their digitized products offerings by 20% in the year 2020. Open-source technology may have played a significant role in expediting this process where it is possible to build bulk digitized products code through the existing repository codes that can be reused.

The Tooljet Advantage

Tooljet is able to provide the data, tools and strategies to develop an inclusive and organization-wide deployment of open source technology to empower your applications. We ensure that your open-source software and applications are able to meet the enterprise standards today and also in the future.

Ending Note:

The open-source technology trends are well established and are reasonably mature at this juncture. Open-source software is also able to let businesses remove any time and cost constraints. The advantages that open source provides in terms of speed, investments, volume and innovation are quite unmatched at this point. Hence we cannot ‘out-execute’ open source. Will open source continue to evolve in the times to come? Let time decide that. However, one thing is for sure that no matter how powerful a company is or how promising a start-up is, we may not be able to employ people to build the software that open source can create and deploy immediately.