In a recent survey by Black Duck Software, development executives were asked about technology trends and challenges affecting application development, and about their use of open source software (OSS).
Technology Trends. Cloud computing and mobile computing were cited as the top technology trends influencing development projects. Distributed development, Agile development, and multi-company collaboration on OSS projects were also high on the list.
Challenges. Despite the ongoing economic recovery, developers are still under intense pressure to do more with less. Increasing productivity while making do with smaller budgets was cited as the top challenge affecting developers. Contributing to OSS projects was another top challenge, largely due to the lack of organizational policies for managing OSS contributions. Other major challenges included collaborating and sharing source code across distributed teams, and standardizing and reusing code across the enterprise.
Barriers to Greater Use of Open Source. With an eye to saving time and money, developers are increasingly turning to open source software, yet most respondents did not feel they were fully leveraging the potential time and cost savings of OSS. The two main reasons for this were the lack of clear strategies and policies for OSS within the enterprise, and the difficulty of contributing back to OSS projects. Many developer changes are never incorporated into the OSS code, respondents said, and that makes it hard to rely on the OSS over time as new versions are released.
The good news, according to Jim Berets, vice president of product management at Black Duck Software, is that “…these barriers appear to be falling rapidly as development organizations realize the benefits of open source and take proactive steps to adopt strategies, policies and solutions for managing its use across the global enterprise.”