Lack of Open Source Talent a Top Challenge for Organizations

Four out of five companies rely on open source software (OSS) for a wide range of uses, including containers and container orchestration, DevOps, and database management, says the 2023 State of Open Source Report, but companies still face challenges finding open source pros. 

“It is a great time to be an engineer with open source knowledge and experience, as there are many opportunities,” the report states.

The report from Open Source Initiative and OpenLogic by Perforce examines factors driving open source adoption as well as issues facing organizations using open source software, such as security concerns and lack of skilled staff.

In this article, we’ll highlight specific benefits and challenges cited by the report.

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Benefits of Open Source

Not only are more organizations than ever using open source software, but 80 percent of organizations have increased their use over the past 12 months, says the report. So, let’s look at why.

The top reasons organizations use open source are:

  • Access to innovation and the latest technologies (37.9%)
  • Functionality available to improve development velocity (37.6%)
  • Stable technology with community long-term support (36.7%)
  • Ability to contribute to, and influence the direction of, open source projects (32.0%)
  • Fast moving / constant enhancements, releases, and patches (32.0%)
  • To modernize technology stack (31.0%)

Interestingly, 11 percent also said open source “makes it easier to hire or retain employees.”

Challenges of Open Source

Although open source offers many benefits, it also brings challenges. According to the report, the top challenges for organizations are:

  • Maintaining security policies or compliance (41.9%)
  • Lack of skills, proficiency, or experience (37.5%)
  • Keeping up with updates and patches (36.7%)
  • Lack of low-level technical support (36.4%)
  • Maintaining end-of-life versions (36.0%)
  • No real-time technical support (35.8%)

"Clearly, more technical support is needed for open source technologies, as personnel experience and proficiency is highly ranked again this year as a support concern across organizations regardless of size," said Javier Perez, Chief OSS Evangelist at Perforce Software and main author of the report.

As mentioned, ensuring security compliance and keeping up with patches and updates pose significant problems for organizations, and “in-house support of OSS requires expert-level knowledge of not just one technology, but multiple technologies that form software stacks,” Perez says.
It’s easy to see that open source skills are in demand and that, despite recent tech industry layoffs, there are many opportunities for those looking to build a career with open source.

You can find more information about open source careers from the resources below.

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