Report: 95% of IT leaders believe open source tools are essential for strong infrastructure

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A new study from Red Hat found that cloud computing and always-on services built using the open source development model and open source code are becoming increasingly important to nearly every industry. As many as 95% of IT leaders say they are the key to their business infrastructure.

What was surprising was that 82% of IT leaders said they would be more likely to choose a vendor that contributes to the open source community, which was driven in part by a desire to maintain healthy open source communities. That bodes well for the continued growth of open source code as an engine of innovation.

The top three applications for enterprise open source (EOS) were IT infrastructure modernization, digital transformation and application development, the survey found. While proprietary software is expected to shrink as a percentage of software used, EOS will grow and gain a lot of momentum in emerging areas, with 80% of IT leaders expecting to increase its use in things like artificial intelligence, machine learning, edge and IoT.

Also, security is increasingly becoming an open source advantage. A staggering 89% of IT leaders said enterprise open source is just as secure or more secure than proprietary software. That’s a big shift from common perceptions of open source software security a decade ago. The biggest advantage of today’s open source security has been that teams can use well-tested open source for internal applications.

The big conclusion of the report is that more companies will continue to bring more products to market based on open source projects because the benefits are broad, strategic and no longer primarily about lower cost of ownership, as was the case four years ago.

The survey included interviews with 1,296 IT leaders around the world. To ensure credibility, IT leaders were unaware that Red Hat was sponsoring the survey.

Read the full report from Red Hat.

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