As a maintainer and developer of the open source L4Re Operating System Framework, we have a professional interest in getting to know how many companies use open source software and what benefits they expect from it.
These and many other questions are answered every year in the Bitkom Open Source Monitor, a study about the Status quo of open-source use in Germany. Over 1.000 enterprises with at least 20 employees, selected representatively for size and branches, are asked about their use of open source software, as well as 100 public administration organizations.
In 2023 we are proud to be one of 20 companies that have sponsored this survey. The third Bitkom Open Source Monitor was also a first: It allows a time series analysis over the past three survey phases.
The report that was presented during the annual Bitkom Forum Open-Source (BFOSS) congress in Erfurt answers our questions in a very enlightening way:
- More and more companies are willing to use open source software, and even more are actually using it (an important difference!).
- Open-source software has also become indispensable for the public sector: Almost two thirds of the asked government agencies are using an open-source solution today.
- The openness towards OSS grows with the size of a company – so, even if OSS is “free”, the implementation and maintenance are better manageable by larger companies.
- The majority of respondents mostly sees the cost reductions and the source code access as the main benefits of OSS.
- Companies who already use, integrate or develop their own open-source software value functionality above all, closely followed by the availability of security certificates or at least security indicators.
In the next survey we hope to see more enterprises – and public administrations! – starting to see the “real” advantages of open source software: digital sovereignty and freedom from vendor lock-in, greater flexibility and reliability and, most of all, IT security.
The Bitkom Open Source Monitor has now followed the development of open-source use and compliance in German companies for 3 years, and the changes in this short space of time are very much evident.
The question is not any more, if companies are using OSS or not – today they are thinking about the role of OSS in the digital transformation of our economy. Almost 50 % of the asked companies are actively engaged in the development of open-source software, and are convinced that the importance of OSS for their business will increase.
The Bitkom Open Source Monitor 2023 is free. You can download the report here: Bitkom Open Source Monitor 2023