How open source + AI supercharges productivity and enterprise innovation

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Just about every enterprise worldwide is under pressure to do more with less. While the economic backdrop continues to put IT budgets under pressure, expectations for the role technology will play in gaining a competitive edge continue to rise.

It’s a challenging scenario for any organisation, but one that the convergence of open source and AI can help solve. Embracing open source allows businesses to unlock new AI tools that enable them to overhaul their development process - and in doing so, gain a significant head start in carving out a competitive advantage.

For the first time, the impact of generative AI is being felt by business, not just by consumers. Advances in AI are transformative for businesses because they unlock major productivity advantages that allow them to streamline software development while accelerating the pace of innovation.

Here are two core ways the impact of AI can empower businesses in their quest to achieve more with fewer resources:

AI tools supercharge productivity

Until now, generative AI has largely benefited the individual. But that is changing fast and businesses are recognizing the impact it has on them – not least because of the major productivity boost it can deliver. AI tools help developers create better software, faster. When that happens, innovation is turbocharged because businesses get to benefit from the full focus and creativity of developers.

The impact of that on developer happiness can’t be understated. More productive, inspired developers will only ever have a positive impact on businesses output.

Jesper Hyrm

International VP, GitHub.

AI powers the development of more secure software, faster

As the world becomes increasingly digitized, there is more risk than ever from malware, data breaches and other types of attacks. Developers are the first responders to all security threats in the digital economy, and empowering them to solve threats before they arise is vital. Not only does it make software more secure, it makes the development more efficient - avoiding delays that threaten the pace of innovation.

However, in some quarters there is still a boardroom misperception that open source software poses a security risk. In fact, the opposite is true. AI is fundamental to helping developers stay on top of changing security needs because it filters out security vulnerabilities. The fusion of AI and open source has the potential to make most security vulnerabilities obsolete because it empowers developers to identify and fix errors early in the process.

Take AI pair programming as an example again. An AI-based vulnerability prevention system can block insecure coding patterns in real-time, targeting the most common vulnerable coding patterns in incomplete fragments of code. This means insecure coding patterns are quickly blocked and replaced by alternative suggestions - helping boost the security of software, and the speed with which it can be developed.

There is, of course, tension in the story though. Open source has been at the core of AI development. Open source frameworks power nearly all of AI and now AI models are built and shared on open source. The bottom line is that for organizations to take advantage of the transformative benefits of AI, they need to have a progressive open source strategy in place.

However, the stumbling block is that while most organisations understand the value of open source software, and increasingly recognise their own reliance on it, not all consider themselves in a position to fully bake it into the core of their business model. Barriers like timing, cost and change management are frequently cited as reasons not to upset the status quo. But the more businesses resist implementing a progressive open source strategy, the more they throttle their ability to use AI to do more with less.

The efficiency, productivity and innovation benefits of an open AI strategy far outweigh any short term pain in transforming the software development process. AI’s ability to help businesses respond to external forces to achieve more with less is an opportunity no organisation can afford to turn down.

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Jesper Hyrm, International VP, GitHub.