Open Source 2019 Predictions (Part 2)
Open source gains validity across industries as more integrate it into their stacks.
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Given the speed with which technology is evolving, we thought it would be interesting to ask IT executives to share their predictions for 2019. Here's what they told us about open source:
With almost everyone using open source software in some form or fashion 2019 will likely see the downward slant on usage as open source software becomes almost ubiquitous within the enterprise.
Foundations Will Be the Answer to Attracting New Talent. The need for skilled developers continues to be a challenge for many open source companies. In 2019, vendors will start to partner with more foundations such as The OpenStack Foundation as a way to attract new talent. Open source vendors are looking for developers that are invested in the larger community and have contributed to a variety of projects. By tapping into a foundation, they can find individuals that are engaged and devoted to the open source philosophy and strengthen their overall networks. To retain talent, companies must give developers the opportunity to expand their knowledge, achieve certifications and gain vital experience in new technologies (especially around IoT and security).
Unpredictable market? Tap Into Partner Ecosystems. With the uncertain political and economic market right now, the vendor ecosystem will become crucial to business success in 2019. While we can’t quite predict where the political sphere may end up, we can control the technology that business use. Understanding that they can’t be the jack of all trades, companies will need to develop a strong and compliant vendor network to ensure they are able to remain relevant in a constantly changing market, as well as to deliver the right solutions to their customers. Identifying the right partner can be a complicated task, with many seemingly identical offerings in an increasingly saturated market. Discovering a route into new geographic regions or new verticals through partnerships will help businesses to continue to grow while supporting their own partners in a symbiotic relationship.
We’ll see the recent IBM acquisition of Red Hat bring about a risk that large, established companies may make more direct efforts to gain control over key open source technologies, attempting to crowd out startups and other smaller players. Although large companies have for a very long time aimed to influence and leverage open source projects, this acquisition represents the boldest step yet by a large vendor to gain control over the commercialization of open source technology.
Open Source blockchain projects stall. Blockchain is and will continue to be a mess — too hard, no regulations, other tools can already do what blockchain promises today.
The global shortage of developers and a recognition that open-source is more effort-intensive will lead to a reduction in the “open-source first” policy of major organizations and governments.
I believe enterprises will increasingly turn to managed platforms delivering 100% open source technologies in 2019, as they increasingly seek to avoid the vendor and technological lock-in that remain too common with proprietary open source offerings. Given the fact that commercialized open source technologies can leave enterprises at the mercy of price increases (and make it impossible to run solutions on their own or implement useful modifications), fully open source technologies offer a compelling alternative. Open source solutions are empowered by engaged communities that help ensure rapid improvements and bug resolution, better security, full transparency and reliability, and a faster time to market at a lower cost. Expect a growing number of managed providers to adopt 100% open source technologies in order to deliver these advantages.
Three big trends will emerge in open source in 2019. First, machine learning will head more aggressively to the open source market as interest grows in sharing data analysis more openly and collaboratively. Also, concerns will heighten around data privacy, and organizations must be able to address challenging issues of ethics and reliability when dealing with AI, machine learning and data science. This will lead to making a case for greater auditing. And finally, the market will realize that open source is the only way to keep up and remain relevant as the rate of technological advances will not slow down.
In 2018, an important conversation was started in the community around open source and what are (and what are NOT) appropriate behaviors for companies like AWS, Microsoft Azure and other cloud providers who benefit from open source technologies but contribute nothing back to the open source communities. Redis Labs and MongoDB made important licensing changes to stop predatory behavior, and in 2019 I expect other companies will take similar actions to protect and promote the true spirit of open source.
Open source is the best way to develop software and a catalyst for innovation. From the explosion of AI with frameworks like TensorFlow, MXNet, and PyTorch to blockchain projects like Hyperledger, Bitcoin, and Ethereum as well as infrastructure disruptors like Kubernetes, Prometheus, Istio open source is what fuels new industries and pushes forward long-standing ones. With open source now the de facto way developers are building software, in 2019 we need to ensure that it is a sustainable way to do so as well. We need to make sure that we don't take open source for granted, we need to listen to those that helped to bring it to us originally and we need to make way for new voices that have new ideas. Open source is a living organism and we need to keep it healthy.
With Red Hat swallowed by IBM and Ubuntu looking for external investors, the Linux desktop is not going to be a topic anymore. Enterprises will continue to evaluate products of all kinds on features, function, support, and roadmap; but open source will move from fringe to RFP, as enterprise development teams look to collaborate with developers—and to be able to take the reins if need be—for mission-critical applications.
Open Source Start-Up Explosion. Wall Street validated the open source business model in 2018 with major IPO announcements, like Elastic, and M&A activity, like IBM’s record-breaking purchase of Red Hat in October. In 2019, the market will shift its focus to the smaller, more nimble startups that can innovate and adopt open source business models across all sectors.
Open source is exploding – it is well understood now that open source is driving every business model. Every company is building its products and services on open source code and inheriting the vulnerabilities that come with it. We have 5 million open source libraries now but the growth rate is exponential – we’ll see millions of more developers releasing up to half a billion libraries within the next decade. (This is changing how we understand software supply chain complexity and how we identify vulnerabilities. We’ll need increasingly powerful automation and machine learning to identify, track and call out vulnerabilities to developers.)
New breed of open source players. With IBM's acquisition of Red Hat, we will see a new breed of market-setting, "best of breed" open source players. Companies like Elastic.co who recently filed to IPO will set the stage for more and newer open source alternatives taking on additional markets.
The cloud-native ecosystem will see explosive growth as the growing adoption of Kubernetes will translate to a growing need to make it manageable for the enterprise. There are both huge gaps in tooling and many unrealized opportunities in making fleets of microservices more manageable - and we expect to see project sprout up to handle both the gaps and the opportunities.
Starting in 2018, commercial OSS companies are rethinking their licensing models as they face competitive threats from cloud vendors. I expect this will also slow down the rate at which projects are contributed to the various foundations, as companies rethink the benefits of growing a strong community versus the threat of losing ownership over the code and license.
Open source software companies will end up in open warfare with AWS, as AWS monetizes their software. Meanwhile, Azure will form close relationships with those same developers through a combination of friendlier policies and GitHub.
Open source code, and more specifically open source code that is used as part of applications (aka third-party), makes us redefine the concept of “Trust.” Vendors realize it is hard to trust third-party open source modules as it means they need to trust that not only is a specific open source solution free of malicious vulnerabilities, maintained as required, and built securely, but also all its own third-party open source modules too. Given this understanding, we can expect that more vendors will choose to keep an eye on the open source code they deploy. Those who neglect this responsibility will encounter difficulties.
With containers firmly established as the new compute structure, new solutions will continue to evolve in the container ecosystem. In particular, with both Google and IBM backing Istio as the standard for managing container identities, look for new security and operational innovations around Istio.
IBM acquiring Red Hat is a watershed moment. IBM has this once-in-a-generation opportunity to bring the agility and cloud-native nature of the open source world to its enterprise customers. If executed well, this will allow one of the fastest ways to modernize the computing infrastructure of the large enterprise customers of IBM.
We will see an increase in the adoption of open source technologies as organizations continue to struggle with a plethora of tools and platforms that need to work together. Tools that interoperate and “play nice” within the growing DevOps ecosystem of tools will be more important than ever.
IBM's recent acquisition of Red Hat is likely the top of everyone’s list when it comes to activity in the open source community, and while this is a significant move, I believe Microsoft joining the Open Invention Network (OIN) will have far more impact long term. Microsoft has now made 60,000 patents open source in an effort to further support the Linux platform and I’m looking forward to seeing them continue to accelerate their contributions to the community in the years to come.
Driven by Microsoft’s recent moves, I expect to see a significant increase in contributions from Google, Facebook, Amazon, IBM, and others. This will benefit developers around the world and help accelerate the pace of innovation across our industry as we all benefit from the combined contributions of our peers. I’m also expecting to see these efforts benefit from Microsoft’s acquisition of an ongoing investment in GitHub.
Open source has become very mainstream and has been adopted by enterprises of all sizes. Microsoft’s purchase of GitHub, Red Hat’s consolidation of many open source companies, and then IBM’s surprise $34B purchase of Red Hat for their support of the open source technologies and cloud enablement, was the crowning moment for the open source movement.
With the Red Hat acquisition, 2019 should see even more acceleration towards enterprise adoption of open source.
The public and industry will see more evidence that Equifax wasn’t a one-off event. We’ll see more data breaches and reputational damage coming from insufficiently managed open source components. That will further trigger companies to review their processes and up their game for open source security and compliance.
Open source has been an important accelerator for innovation and an alignment mechanism for how we develop and collaborate, but several trends will drive a parallel movement that we’ll see become more prominent in 2019 and beyond – open standards. The outcome of creating interoperability on top of open standards and meta-standards is an application network, where data and components of software functionality are wrapped as APIs to provide a simplified and standardized way of integrating it with other systems and allow for any digital asset to be discovered and reused in the network.
Open source platforms will take the lead in the IoT evolution, as components mature and large vendors work closely together on upstream components to the IoT platform. This is already the case in container orchestration (Kubernetes) and analytics (Spark, Hadoop), and will spread more broadly across the complete solution.
Serverless will move beyond the hype as developers take hold: 2018 was all about understanding what serverless is, but as more developers learn the benefits and begin testing in serverless environments, more tools will be created to allow them to take full advantage of the architecture and to leverage functions-as-a-service. Serverless will create new application ecosystems where startups can thrive off the low-cost architecture and creatively solve deployment challenges.
The market will double down on open source technologies: 2018 has seen $53 billion in deals involving open source following the Cloudera/Hortonworks merger and acquisitions of Red Hat, GitHub and others. 2019 will see businesses double down on open source technologies -- more investments and deals will get done, and open source communities will also pour more effort and energy into projects after having seen the opportunity for open source in the marketplace. To-date, open source has still functioned with a freemium model, but the coming years may see that shift as the enterprise finds value in conventional open source technologies.
Open Source fragmentation will lead to developer headaches. We’re beginning to see an inflection point with Open Source. For example, Oracle is taking a more commercial approach to Java, which will cause fragmentation for Java developers. Additionally, some database companies have changed their licensing terms and Open Source models, which will cause issues for cloud players who were previously benefitting from the software. In 2019, developers will be challenged to determine which Open Source platform to move to that matches all their needs and works cohesively with their current technology – without threat of changing.
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