Sales by France’s ICT companies specialising in free and open source software and related services have grown by 15% on average in the period October 2015 - October 2016, reports the Conseil National du Logiciel Libre (CNLL), France’s trade group advocating free software, representing over three hundred ICT firms. “Our sector is growing, and has many start-ups, and small and medium-sizes enterprises”, CNLL said in a statement.
Turnover at CNLL’s members that focus on open source is increasing 1.6 times faster than the turnover in companies doing both open source and proprietary software, CNLL reports. Open source companies grow 6 times faster than the the average for the entire ICT sector. Moreover, CNLL members expect that in 2017 employment will grow by about 25%. This is again higher than in the rest of the sector, the trade group notes. Companies prefer candidates with a graduate/master degree in computer science/engineering, yet about 15% of new hires are retrained unemployed. Companies prefer to hire candidate with experience in using and developing free and open source software.
CNLL published its annual employment survey on 16 November, at the Paris Open Summit. The report is based on responses from 25% of its members.
The growth numbers in the report are in line with a CNLL-commissioned study carried out by PAC, a consultancy. The study forecasts sales in France’s free and open source services sector in 2016 of EUR 4.5 billion.