UK organizations are throwing their weight behind open source

open source
(Image credit: Image Credit: Alpha Stock Images)

The vast majority of businesses in the UK are now using open source software and a sizable number contribute back to the projects as well, a new survey has found.

A report from advocacy group OpenUK is the second of three designed to help estimate the value of open source to the UK economy. 

This edition found the vast majority of respondents (89%) run open source software internally in their business, while approximately two thirds (65%) contribute to open source software projects.

“We see here that UK business use is also high and open source makes a big contribution to the UK economy. It allows companies in the UK to compete and collaborate globally. As the UK continues to develop its digital economic strategy after Brexit, open source and open technology will play a key role in the future success of a Digital Global Britain,” noted OpenUK CEO, Amanda Brock.

The cost advantage

To compile the report, OpenUK surveyed 273 organizations of all sizes, based in the UK. 

Cost saving was cited as the leading reason (75%) for using open source, though a majority also cite the quality of code (61%) and security (52%) as motivators.

The survey finds that a majority of the businesses (52%) choose to participate in open source community projects, while 40% participate in open source projects with non-profit organizations and foundations. A third (33%) also shared that their organization collaborates with academic institutions in open source projects.

Brock reads these figures to suggest that the UK leads other European countries in terms of contributing to open source.

Across all respondents, the most common types of open source software used in the UK are open source software languages (86%), open source software tools (84%), GitHub, or other public repositories (83%), open source operating systems (80%), and open source databases (78%).

Mayank Sharma

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.