Survey Reveals Open Source Growing Quickly in Mobile and Cloud Development

Responses from Users Dominate Fifth-Annual Future of Open Source Survey Results; Reveal Rapid Customer Adoption and Huge Opportunities in SaaS, Cloud and Mobile, Driving Growth

Open Source Business Conference 2011

SAN FRANCISCO--()--North Bridge Venture Partners today announced the results of its annual Future of Open Source Survey. Conducted in partnership with The 451 Group, the 2011 survey involved more than 20 industry collaborators and polled a wide variety of members of the open source community on the important issues, opportunities and expectations of the industry for 2011 and beyond. The results of the survey, now in its fifth year, reveal that open source is now fully embraced by both the public and private sectors, and is being implemented across a wide variety of markets and applications such as social publishing and big data. Additionally, user confidence in open source continues to grow dramatically, represented by the fact that users are much less concerned with historical impediments to adoption such as licensing or conforming to an organization’s internal policies. Survey responses also show that the future is bright for open source. Emerging technology segments such as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), private cloud, public cloud, and mobile are driving growth in open source.

The survey results were released today during the opening panel at Computerworld’s OSBC conference which featured open source industry leaders, including: Jim Whitehurst, president & CEO, Red Hat; Mike Olson, CEO, Cloudera; Tom Erickson, CEO, Acquia. Adrian Kunzle, managing director, head of firmwide engineering & architecture, JPMorgan Chase, also participated, marking the first time the “voice of the customer” was heard on the panel, reflecting the increased number of end-user respondents to the survey. The conference was chaired by Michael Skok, general partner, North Bridge Venture Partners.

More than 450 respondents took part in the 2011 survey, including representatives from both the vendor and non-vendor communities. Respondents were asked about a wide range of issues impacting the open source software (OSS) landscape, including: economic impact on OSS, key drivers and barricades for OSS adoption, and suggestions for building and maintaining a profitable OSS business model.

Key Findings:

  • Respondents have identified SaaS, cloud and mobile as the main areas that will have a dramatic impact on open source and that are driving growth.
  • In 2010 there were 3,800 new open source based projects in mobile, with 94% targeting Android and Apple iOS, more than double the number in 2009.
  • There are now more than 470 open source projects targeting cloud computing.
  • For the first time, supporting the fact that open source has truly gone mainstream, end users accounted for 60 percent of the survey respondents and the quality of responses continues to increase, spreading across all levels of IT management from developers to a large number of C-level executives.
  • The open source customers are now more focused on mainstream technology issues, including improved operational excellence around areas such as support, product management, feature functionality and return on investment. This is in contrast to earlier years where the survey had pointed to things such as the legal implications of licensing and conforming to internal policies.
  • 56 percent of respondents believe that more than half of software purchases made in the next five years will be open source.
  • 95 percent of respondents noted that a turbulent economy continues to be “good” for OSS, though for the first year ever, lower cost has been overtaken by freedom from vendor lock-in as what makes OSS more attractive.
  • When asked about revenue generating strategies likely to create value for vendors, 56% of the respondents said that an annual, repeatable support and service agreement was the most likely.

Supporting Quotes:

“When we started this survey five years ago, open source was still a movement that was in its nascent stages and its future was promising but still unknown. Since then, the survey has documented the steady rise of open source. The results of this year’s survey clearly demonstrate that open source has gone mainstream not just within the vendor community, but within customer organizations of all types and sizes. Based on what we are seeing from our investments, it’s exciting to see new growth driven by the inherent benefits of open source like community-driven innovation and from fast growing markets such as cloud and mobile computing.” ~ Michael Skok, general partner, North Bridge Venture Partners

“The 451 Group’s research has previously shown that the benefits of open source software are many and varied and The Future of Open Source Survey highlights the fact that multiple factors are driving the increased adoption of open source software, including freedom from vendor lock-in, greater flexibility and lower cost. The Future of Open Source Survey provides critical insight into the wants and needs of end users that will help shape the evolution of vendor business strategies designed to meet the long-term needs of the industry. ” ~ Matt Aslett, senior analyst, enterprise software, The 451 Group

“This survey reinforces what we continually see in the market with Drupal adoption -more and more large, high-visibility customers, such as The White House, Sony Music and The Economist, are fully embracing open source as their mainstream solution for social publishing.” ~ Tom Erickson, CEO, Acquia

Supporting Links:

Survey Results

Future of Open Source Forum

Follow the Future of Open Source Survey on Twitter

About North Bridge Venture Partners

North Bridge Venture Partners is an active, bi-coastal, early-stage venture capital firm based in Boston, Massachusetts and San Mateo, California. Established in 1994, North Bridge provides seed-to-growth financing and company-building expertise. Together with North Bridge Growth Equity, our mid-market focused growth capital fund, North Bridge manages over $3 billion. For North Bridge Venture Partners, success is derived through a partnership with entrepreneurs that produce industry-leading companies in large emerging markets. Historically, the firm's partners have played a significant role in organizing, starting and building successful companies. Working in concert with entrepreneurs, North Bridge adds value by providing strategic guidance, sharing operating experience, industry specific knowledge, team-building skills and an in-depth understanding of both private and public financings. North Bridge's sector focus includes Software, Communications & Infrastructure, Healthcare Technology, Digital Media, and Materials. North Bridge investments in open source software include Acquia, Akiban Technologies, Couchbase, Revolution Analytics and rPath. For more information about North Bridge go to


2011 Future of Open Source Survey Collaborators:

Acquia                     Ingres                     Revolution Analytics
Akiban Technologies Jaspersoft rPath
Automattic Couchbase Sand Hill Group
BlackDuck Microsoft Sonatype
Cloudera Novell SugarCRM
EnterpriseDB Olliance Group

The 451 Group

Eucalyptus OpenLogic
Infobright Red Hat


For North Bridge Venture Partners
Michael Parker, 781-782-5000

Release Summary

Survey Reveals Open Source Growing Quickly in Mobile and Cloud Development


For North Bridge Venture Partners
Michael Parker, 781-782-5000