Report: 70% of devs struggle with transitioning to open source

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According to a new study by Instaclustr and Forrester Consulting, companies using open core technologies report a clear desire to move to pure open source alternatives, but 70% struggle with cross-business strategy and support hurdles. The results point to a clear desire for license cost savings, code portability, and strong community support offered by free and open source technologies, compared to more proprietary open-core alternatives.

However, respondents who currently use open source solutions describe significant barriers to their adoption of FOSS. Thirty-nine percent cited inconsistent strategy across departments as an obstacle, calling for more unified leadership to achieve open source transitions. 31% cited a lack of comprehensive support available, while 29% said a lack of in-house skills around open source technologies was holding back further adoption of FOSS in their business. Interestingly, 29% also report that existing license lock-in is a barrier to moving to open source options. A plurality of 41% of respondents described “access to qualified and expert assistance from external parties” as the most effective method for moving their organizations towards adopting FOSS.

Several reasons prevent open core users from making an easy transition to FOSS alternatives.

Open core solutions build on FOSS offerings by adding proprietary features, but can also carry more expensive commercial license fees and the risk of lock-in when an organization’s code is not as portable as with FOSS. In this context, respondents cited the main tenets of FOSS offerings as compelling drivers of adoption. When asked about the main benefits of FOSS for their application development strategy, 45% of respondents cited reduced costs, 41% cited no license fees, 40% highlighted full access to application source code and 40% noted the strength of FOSS communities. Among respondents actively practicing FOSS-only strategies, 47% cited the advantageous flexibility and freedom from restrictions that FOSS offers, 38% cited full software portability, and 31% identified increased agility and adaptability as drivers of their success. adoption of FOSS.

Among the most surprising findings (for decision makers currently taking advantage of open core strategies, at least) is that the benefits these respondents cited as reasons in favor of their open core adoption are actually available from FOSS, free of charge. . 41% cited reduced risk, 39% cited increased efficiency, and 33% reported easier transitions to the cloud as key benefits of open core solutions. However, mature, enterprise-grade FOSS technologies have the built-in governance and community support to rival or exceed open-core alternatives in security, efficiency, and interoperability. The freedom of FOSS also enables unrestricted cloud adoption, which licensed solutions cannot.

Finally, 84% of respondents already using FOSS solutions report an interest in hiring managed service platforms or external consultancies to support their FOSS implementations with more expertise. Specifically, 68% of these decision makers listed security, 66% listed scalability, 66% listed migration assistance, and 65% listed the overall FOSS experience as their most pressing needs for which targeted support by partners offers a solution.

The study makes clear the desire of companies to go beyond the limitations of open source and capitalize on the benefits of FOSS. It also highlights the paths application development decision makers are likely to take when migrating to open source technologies that provide the most flexibility and freedom they seek.

For their study, Forrester Consulting and Instaclustr surveyed 322 global application development decision makers.

Read the full report from Forrester Consulting and Instaclustr.

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