The importance of open source software in a digital-first future enterprise

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As companies shift their focus from digital transformation of individual processes to business outcomes enabled by a digitally transformed organization, software engineering will become a core enterprise capability. To become a software-driven organization, companies must first identify and address their developers’ concerns in areas such as developer experience, developer velocity, and software security.

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Open source software (OSS) is a key driver of enterprise digital innovation and provides greater agility, performance and security than proprietary software, according to a recent IDC Infobrief “The Importance of Open Source Software in a Digital-First Future Enterprise” . The research, conducted by International Data Corporation (IDC) and commissioned by SUSE, surveyed 838 respondents in 11 Asia/Pacific countries across a range of industries such as financial services and insurance, telecommunications and government. It examines the key trends, challenges and priorities in DevOps and security solutions, and the impact of open-source software (OSS) on developer productivity.

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According to Linus Lai, Vice President of Research, IDC, “In a digital-first world where every organization is a software-driven business, our research shows that open source software plays a very important role in the enterprise technology stack, driving innovation improves customer experience, and overall digital transformation”.

key research findings

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OSS accounts for approximately 70% of all software used in the typical Asia/Pacific enterprise to drive digital innovation. OSS improves developer satisfaction by addressing concerns specific to the business and technology environments in which developers work. The capability of OSS to address enterprise cyber security issues is unmatched due to robust vendor and community testing and expert software support from principal enterprise-grade OSS vendors. 61% of respondents rated the performance of OSS as better than that of proprietary software.

Research shows that although OSS is relevant across the breadth of the enterprise technology stack, its use varies. For example, about 60% of respondents are using OSS for databases and 53% for operating systems. When it comes to container related technologies, only 30% are using OSS. This is primarily because enterprises in the Asia/Pacific region are earlier in their container adoption journeys on average than mature markets.

With the rise of microservices and cloud-native applications, new security challenges are arising for enterprise IT departments. This is forcing enterprises to consider innovative new ways of managing security at the container level and to give due consideration to these challenges when choosing a container security solution. There is also pressure on development teams to stay updated with new cloud-native technologies and deliver applications faster.

In today’s highly competitive IT environment, skilled developers are not a cheap resource and top talent is not readily available. Therefore, maximizing the value of the developer to the organization should be high on the agenda for the business to operate at peak efficiency. Research findings suggest that the use of OSS not only improves developer productivity, but also increases developers’ access to emerging technologies and open source innovations. OSS is more robust and secure than proprietary software due to rigorous community reviews and shorter development cycles. This enables enterprise development teams to innovate quickly.

As enterprises move forward with their digital journey, they will expand their use of OSS into new domains that are critical to their success. 60% of respondents identified security as the top technology domain for OSS use in the future. The list also includes new and emerging technology domains such as AI/Big Data Analytics, Container Management and the Metaverse. In addition, the use of containers will be essential as hybrid cloud computing becomes the default enterprise operating model, and enterprises seek to expand into new areas such as the “edge”.

For the full IDC Infobrief: The Importance of Open Source Software in a Digital-First Future Enterprise, please click here.

Learn more about SUSE here.


Vishal Ghariwala is the APJ and Chief Technology Officer for the Greater China regions for SUSE, a global leader in true open source solutions. In this capacity, he engages with customer and partner executives across the region, and is responsible for increasing SUSE’s mindshare by being the executive technical voice for the market, press and analysts. He also has a global charter with the SUSE Office of the CTO to assess relevant industry, market and technology trends and identify opportunities aligned with company strategy.

Prior to joining SUSE, Vishal was Director of Cloud Native Applications at Red Hat, where he led a team of senior technologists responsible for the development and adoption of the Red Hat OpenShift, API management, integration and business automation portfolio in the Asia Pacific region did. ,

Vishal has over 20 years of experience in the software industry and holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

Vishal is on LinkedIn here:

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