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Open source considered more secure than proprietary software

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(Image credit: Shutterstock.com / Gorodenkoff)

Most businesses now believe that open source software is equally or more secure than proprietary equivalents, signaling a massive shift in the perception of open source.

The findings were part of the third annual State of Enterprise Open Source survey from Red Hat, which interviewed 1250 respondents from all over the world, who were deliberately made unware of the fact the survey was commissioned by an open source company.

“Our annual report explores what’s driving enterprise leaders to choose open source. This year we were also interested to see how the COVID-19 pandemic might influence the results,” said Paul Cormier, President and CEO at Red Hat.

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According to Cormier, many of the results are on expected lines and validates what the company already knew. 

He highlighted the fact that 90% of the respondents are using enterprise open source today, adding that the majority (53%) are using it for digital transformation. 

“The move to remote working forced many organizations to accelerate their digital transformation efforts to maintain innovation and continue to meet customer demands so it makes sense that it moved up this year to the top three,” he said.

Of the 87% of the respondents who count security as one of the chief benefits of enterprise open source, 75% cited solid vetting processes and commercial testing as key factors.

The report also notes that cost is steadily falling behind as one of the primary motivations for businesses to switch to open source software. While lower cost of ownership was a top benefit in the first edition of the survey two years back, it was down to the sixth spot in the latest edition.

In fact, the second most popular reason for using enterprise open source software was because it gives companies “access to the latest innovations”. This was underlined by 79% of respondents, who expect their companies to switch to open source software particularly for emerging technologies such as edge computing/IoT and artificial intelligence within the next two years.