(Strategy Goal) C-Level awareness
The shift towards open source brings with it numerous benefits, as well as certain obligations and some might say risk. It can impact business models and influence the manner in which an organisation positions its value proposition. Significantly, open source plays a role in what is increasingly termed digital sovereignty, allowing greater choice between solutions, providers and integrators, and greater control over IT roadmaps.
Given the above, open source should be viewed as a strategic enabler that embarks enterprise culture. What do we mean by this?
1/ Open source can be leveraged as a mechanism to disrupt suppliers and reduce software acquisition costs.
- Should open source come under the purview of Software Asset Managers and/or purchasing departments?
2/ Open source licenses enshrine the freedoms that deliver the benefits of open source, but they also carry obligations. If not met appropriately, obligations can create legal, commercial and image risk to an organisation.
- Will licence conditions grant visibility into areas of code that should remain confidential?
- Will my organisation's patent portfolio be impacted?
- How should project teams be trained and supported on this subject?
3/ Contributing back to external open source projects is where the biggest value of open source lies.
- How should my company encourage (and track) this?
- Can and how should my developers use GitHub, SourceForge, Slack, Discord, Telegram, or any of the other tools open source projects habitually use?
- Can open source impact company HR policies?
4/ Of course, it's not all about contributing back, what about my own open source projects?
- Am I ready to do open innovation?
- How will my projects manage incoming contributions?
- Should I spend effort to nurture a community for a given project?
- How should I lead the community, what role should community members have?
- Am I ready to cede roadmap decisions to a community?
- Can open source be a valuable tool to reduce silo-isation between company teams?
- Do I need to handle open source transfer from one company entity to another?
Hopefully, it starts to become obvious that anything but ad hoc usage of open source very much requires a considered approach given the range of teams and cultural change it can bring.
- Demystifying OSS to C-level management
- Obtaining endorsement for OSS
- Expliciting OSS in public communication
Why it is relevant to undertake this activity, What needs it addresses. What are the efforts expected. How much will it cost? What resources do we need? What RoI can be gained?
Question: How can I assess if the activity is acquired? How will progress be measured. What are the objectives? What are the KPIs? Suggest verification point.
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Technologies, tools and products concerned by this activity.
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Hints and best practices. Collected from GGI participants.
- As possible try to get c-level buy in to establish the following elements:
- A mandated governance office / officer that is empowered to set a uniform open source strategy across the company. Ensure that the scope is clear, align an appropriate budget.
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Links to resources in the Resource Center
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