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3 Benefits of Adopting an Open Source Strategy

By Ben Lloyd Pearson, Director of Developer Marketing at Mattermost

Technology and tools keep the world moving. But tools also fail, leaving developers unable to do their jobs. Even worse, executive team-selected technology stacks too often don't always fit engineering needs, forcing them to rely on tools that don't support their daily tasks.

But companies can't afford inefficient processes in 2022. Developers are more difficult to hire, yet the surge in demand for digital applications is at an all-time high. It's not the only solution, but developer-centric organizations know that adopting an open source strategy can be a real accelerant for attracting and retaining tech talent.

Here are the top three benefits I've found to adopting an open source strategy:

1.  Raise workplace satisfaction for technical talent

We're still in the midst of the Great Resignation - where alignment across teams and remote or hybrid work models are essential to engaging and motivating tech talent, like DevOps teams. To make recruiting and retention more challenging, there's a global talent shortage for developers. So, keeping developers happy should be a top priority in this competitive environment. But how?

Workplace satisfaction goes beyond conceptual corporate jargon, like "opportunities for growth and connection." Developers now consider concrete factors like the technology provided, and they won't settle for archaic tools and processes. Thankfully, open source tools provide quite the opposite.

The open source community produces an extraordinary amount of highly-valued technologies that enable developers to build complex software more quickly and at a higher level of quality. For these reasons and more, developers prefer open source. Open source tools can help companies attract talent and speed up onboarding time by providing a set of tools developers already know and love. Providing technical teams with the open source tools they prefer raises their workplace satisfaction and overall employee retention while minimizing the job vacancies that can cripple organizations.

2.  Influence the Direction of Mission-Critical Open Source Communities 

As your organization adopts more open source technology, your developers might encounter situations where they need to influence the technical direction of one or more open source technologies to better support your company. Open source software is built by a diverse group of community contributors, and it can sometimes be difficult to navigate the human complexities of these communities.

Having talented open source developers in the fold can enable your company to play an active role in the development of the technologies you rely on by being your representative within open source communities. This enables your developers to play a strategic role in the advancement of technology that's vital to your company. With open source, everyone wins.

3.  Control your data and achieve independence 

For many organizations, acceleration to the cloud has increased exposure to business disruption. If technology and tools all fail at the same time, internal operations come to a halt. Additionally, with cloud vendors controlling more of their customer data and information, the risks of breaches are at an all-time high.

All systems have vulnerabilities, but open source reduces these threats by enabling flexible deployment options - either self-hosted or in a private, secure cloud. And IT teams and developers want better control of their data, especially in a distributed, remote work environment as cyber threats increase. Security will continue to be viewed as mission-critical to any business operations.

By integrating an open source strategy, an organization stands a better chance at retaining valuable developer talent and setting up employees for productivity and success while securely managing its data.  Developers want to work somewhere they can innovate, collaborate and grow - and it's possible to provide that environment by adopting an open source strategy.




Ben Pearson is Director of Developer Marketing at Mattermost. He is a technology generalist who focuses his broad understanding to grow and engage developer audiences through digital media, open source advocacy, and events strategy and operations.

Published Friday, April 01, 2022 10:20 AM by David Marshall
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