Across Europe, the number of jobs related to open source software will grow by some 8% in the coming four years, far more than in other parts of IT, according to research by CNLL, France’s open source industry association, and others. In France, aggregated open source job growth will be 8.4%, in Germany 7.3%, the UK 7.7% and in the rest of Europe 8.3%, CNLL predicts.
“Open source will be key for security, artificial intelligence and Cloud/DevOps,” the study says. In particular Europe has “a unique opportunity to take the lead,” says a vast majority of respondents to the survey at the basis of the report: “For approximately 80% of companies, Europe leads the rest of the world in terms of open source skills available and its early adoption.”
In 2020, the total expected revenue for European open source companies is EUR 25 billion, or 25% of the worldwide open source market. The number of jobs in Europe related to open source will increase to 250,000.
The demand for open source is fueled by digital transformation and by innovation, says the study commissioned by CNLL, and two other organisations: Syntec Numérique and Systematic. The report was made public on 10 December at the Paris Open Source Summit.
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Especially in France, the open source sector is growing fast, the study concludes: “This is due to a strong culture in specific development and integration of heterogeneous systems, as well as a historically large investment by public authorities.” The authors expect that in Germany the software market will become more dynamic, with open source competing with proprietary business models. According to the study, growth of open source in the UK is mainly related to US-based open source vendors.
Open source creates a demand for system integrators; open source is easier to tailor than proprietary solutions, the study says. It is also used for innovation and ‘specific development’, both requiring services and integration. Such services are acquired from open source service specialists and from generalist software vendors alike, the report concludes, based on 117 interviews. Cloud providers are also seen as valid partners for services around open source.
Companies are not yet investing much in the open source projects they rely on, the 117 interviews show. Six out of ten companies (61%) use open source components without participating in their ongoing development. An almost equal percentage uses open source projects developed in-house (60%), or open source projects developed by IT service providers (57%). “The principle of pooling resources has not yet been adopted,” the study concludes.
The uptake of open source in organisations is hindered by a lack of skills. It is perceived as highly technological, the study says. To establish an internal open source culture, organisations should work on community initiatives, pool efforts, and make direct contributions to open source communities, the authors recommend.