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According to the results of the 2022 State of Open Source Software survey, when asked about organizational usage and adoption of open-source software within the past year, over 77% of respondents indicated that their organizations had increased such usage.

The regions of North America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia have increased the use of open source in their organizations by over 80%. As these numbers confirm, open source has seen an explosion in usage thanks to improvements in developer tools and workflows.

The open-source principle has become widespread and is now seen as the engine that powers digital innovation. Well-known examples of such software are Linux and Android, while large companies such as Red Hat, Oracle and Google are advocates and distributors of open-source projects and applications.

Simply defined, open source is a type of software development that harnesses the power of distributed peer review as well as the transparency of the process. The promise of open source is better quality, higher reliability, more flexibility, lower cost and the prevention of vendor lock-in.

With proprietary solutions being less favored, many enterprise leaders are adopting open-source alternatives, which is fueling the growth and diversity of open-source data technologies.

As a standard for digital infrastructure projects and in overall software development, open-source licenses such as MIT, GNU General Public and Apache include provisions that allow the public to use, modify and redistribute the code.

Our society nowadays is heavily reliant on software, which is typically built with open-source methodology. GitHub, which is the primary place where today’s open source is made and managed, is dubbed the next “open source utility.”

In recent years, new trends have emerged in the open-source software domain, giving birth to new ideas and creating more opportunities for programmers to learn and adapt while further contributing to the software industry.

Trends for Open-Source Technology

Open source has become a popular software practice. But in order to maintain this pace of progress, we need to adapt to the ongoing trends and potentially invest back into the tools that help us build better open-source software.

Across the Middle East, sectors such as telecoms, banking and financial services, as well as education and healthcare, have been using open source to optimize and simplify their operations, reduce costs and facilitate their digital agendas. As digital transformation and cloud become mainstream in the region, demand for open-source solutions and skills will intensify.

With this in mind, here are the open-source technology trends affecting the digital landscape this year and beyond:

Digital transformation. Customers modernize their application platforms to accelerate and achieve digital transformation. Many are choosing open-source software because that’s where software innovation is happening, and the reusability of open-source software, including thousands of libraries, allows organizations to be more cost-effective and speed up their time to market, all while modernizing their technology stack.

Hybrid-cloud environment. Many organizations are looking to burst out of their existing infrastructure on-prem and harness the consistency and flexibility of various cloud offerings that are available in the current market. Open-source platforms represent the best foundations for hybrid clouds, with crucial services such as integration, data and analytics.

Enterprise open source. With enterprise open-source vendors being preferred, the availability and reliability of automated operations are improved. Through the use of container technology, cloud-related tools and data technologies, organizations are using various open-source software to modernize their stacks and keep up with new technologies. This can help sustain healthy open-source communities and influence the development of needed features.

More talents with open-source IT skills. There will be a surge in demand for full-stack developers and programmers with open-source skills. Talents should enhance their skillsets in the development, modeling and operations of software systems. As a matter of fact, the lack of internal skills and formal technical support continues to be a top concern in the use of open-source software.

Open-source containers. The adoption of Kubernetes, which acts as an open-source container orchestration platform for cloud applications, will be on the rise. Kubernetes is regarded as the most important open-source technology, and its adoption is anticipated over the years. A Red Hat survey found that the use of Kubernetes had the highest number of most important selections.

Stronger open-source security. New tools that can scan for vulnerabilities in open-source software will be used frequently to mitigate any harm. IT firms and organizations dealing with open-source technology will acquire new versions of software and patches that will improve their overall cybersecurity situation. Already in use, Software Composition Analysis (SCA) is the methodology providing users better visibility into apps’ open-source inventory.

Technology strategy. Having a tech strategy motivates opportunities for the use, contribution and creation of open-source software. Research has found that the leading strategies are cloud, infrastructure modernization, API-first and containerization.

Emerging tech. Open source has solidified itself as an innovation engine, with enterprise open source set to be leveraged in the edge computing and Internet of Things (IoT) settings. It will also be more beneficial for artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML).

Business model innovation.  Open source is changing the software industry by breaking old and creating new business models. Open source itself may not be a business model, but it is a vital tool to use in a competitive environment. The distributor and single-vendor models are specifically important because they enable attractive ROIs. 

OpenStack: The Telecom Industry’s Preference

By definition, OpenStack is a cloud operating system that controls large pools of computing, storage and networking resources throughout a data center. This is all managed and provisioned through APIs with common authentication mechanisms.

Currently, the most common use cases of CSPs for OpenStack are to manage the private cloud and use it as the basis for network functions virtualization (NFV). Moreover, CSPs see OpenStack’s open-source and modular architecture as being suitable for edge deployments.

As an example, the Red Hat OpenStack Platform (RHOP) version 17 integrates containers and virtual machines (VMs) into a single cloud environment, allowing telecom operators to deploy additional services for 4G and 5G network environments. It will include more virtual network functionality (VNF) and cloud-based network functionality (CNF) for connected telecom platforms.

Figures also show that over 80% of CSPs say that OpenStack is essential or important to their company’s success, while those who are already implementing their NFV and cloud strategies are even more positive, with 96% and 85%, respectively, saying it is essential or important.

Acting as the virtual infrastructure manager (VIM) and being deployed alongside other software-based network components, OpenStack is helpful in assigning compute, storage and network resources for VNFs, while at the same time complementing 5G network capabilities like high throughput, low latency, workload isolation, high availability and redundancy.

Another notable telecom vendor is Huawei, a global leader in technology and open source. Joining the OpenChain Project, Huawei will work to align the supply chain behind OpenChain ISO 5230, the international standard for quality open-source compliance. Through mutual understanding, cooperation and trust with global developers and open-source communities, Huawei hopes to build a more secure and trustworthy open-source software chain together.

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