The Linux Foundation released a report estimating the value of their open source projects at 5 billion. That is 5 billion dollars worth of software that you can use for any purpose that you choose.
You can use this open source software to create a new business, support your existing business, create a new product or simply reduce your costs.
The potential of leveraging that 5 billion dollars in investment has not been lost on the largest and most successful businesses, governments and institutions.
Google, The New York Stock Exchange, IBM and Peugeot are examples of major corporations with significant open source projects and deployments. According to recent surveys most corporations report plans to increase their utilization of open source.
Internet Service Providers
Technology and non-technology companies have embraced open source and accepted it as a way companies can share development costs. Technology companies such as Novell, Red Hat, IBM and HP use, develop and contribute to open source software. This decreases their costs for those common components that they all share and use. It also allows them to use some capabilities without any development or software costs.
These companies and the clients they service generate jobs and revenues in the billions. With more than 50% of all websites hosted on Linux the economic impact of open source on the internet alone is significant. However, the utilization extends beyond the internet and includes government, science, education, business and home use.
In August of 2015, The MIT Technology Review wrote the following about Linux and IBM.
"The partnership of IBM and Linux is a great example. Through its commitment to open source technology and an expansive ecosystem of partners, Linux has become the fastest growing operating system in the world, an engine of community innovation and a key part of the enterprise IT infrastructure. As a result, the market for Linux servers, applications, software and operating systems surpassed $57 billion in 2014, almost doubling in the past five years, according to IDC."
The article goes on to say:
"For more than 50 years the mainframe has served as the backbone of the global economy. More than half of the world's transactions run on the mainframe due to its reliability and ultra-secure environment. It now powers 92 of the top 100 banks and 23 of the top 25 airlines around the world. Since being introduced to the mainframe 15 years ago, demand for Linux on the mainframe has grown dramatically, with more than one third of all mainframe clients now using Linux."
Goldman Sachs is one of the most successful and well known financial services firms on Wall Street. Goldman Sachs utilizes open source for many project and a contributor and supporter of the open source community. Affiliations include the Linux Foundation Open Container Initiative, the Eclipse Foundation.
See what the Don Duet, co-head of the Technology Division at Goldman Sachs has to say about open source and the opportunities it is creating for Goldman Sachs and businesses around the world:
Linux makes it possible for everyone to have access to advanced computing technology at a low cost. More importantly, it provides a frame work to extend and develop new applications and services.
However, this advantage is available to everyone and can be used by everyone. If you are not leveraging open source today, learn about it and get started.