October 23, 2019
Open-source software has evolved as an important component of the development strategy of Hughes Systique, a global technology solutions provider. Open Source Software (OSS) during its development journey has garnered many scrutinizers, critics, followers, and adopters. Nevertheless, a wide range of OSS can deliver high quality, feature-rich solutions that address specific business needs.
OSS offers many compelling advantages for businesses from radically lowering costs, faster to market, to boosting productivity and enhancing competitiveness.
This white paper seeks to answer the following questions:
Open Source Software refers to the source code that is available for use, modification, and distribution with the original rights, as defined by the Open Source Initiative (OSI). OSS may be freely installed, used, modified, copied, and distributed. There is no initial purchase fee, nor are there any ongoing fees for continued use. With over 78 % of the companies running on Open Source Software, it will not be incorrect to say that most of us are living in an Open Source World. The OSI open source definition calls for Open Source Software to:
For implementing an efficient OSS development environment, HSC realized that it was also required to establish the following criteria:
Often fear, uncertainty, and doubt are major factors that come in mind when a company first considers using Open Source Software. A recent survey of open source users by Gartner revealed that despite the rapidly accelerating adoption of open source software – more than double of what it was five years ago only one-third of organizations have a corporate policy to govern the use of OSS. HSC had to overcome the additional challenge that involved clarifying the following situations that were created in the minds of organizations regarding the use of Open Source Software:
At HSC, one of the major challenges faced was Scan Methodology i.e. the code scanning and report sharing needs to be done using HSC approved tool on a monthly basis to ensure OSS Compliance. Another major issue faced at HSC was the absence of a knowledge base.
To overcome these issues, people either avoid using Open Source Software or in certain cases development teams have generally been neglectful when it comes to ensuring that the open source components, they use in their products meet basic security standards. As discussed before, they, in turn, start behaving like an Ostrich by orchestrating the Head in the Sand Phenomenon. The best approach with regards to Open Source Software is to use it efficiently and manage it properly. As the saying goes:
The risk of open source software lies not in the usage of open source, but in its management.
HSC Approach to Overcome the Challenges:
HSC overcame the challenge of using Open Source Software in the following ways
HSC implemented the Palamida (now known as Flexera) software which helped ensure that the open source software could be used more efficiently as part of a company strategy to achieve a faster time to market and increase innovation. By using open source in a well-managed way, HSC could focus its internal resources on developing valuable new features for their customers.
Because of its proven economic and productivity benefits, open source software in the enterprise is here to stay. The good news is that open source provides critical functionality to developers, and is free to download, examine, and modify. Also, common security bugs can be identified and remediated early in a project life. However, adopting OSS without considering several key aspects including license obligations, user experience, security and operational sustainability (support, availability of software patches/updates, etc.) may lead to unnecessary dependencies both from a business as well as a technology perspective.
By automating OSS governance policy with the Palamida software, HSC could achieve numerous business benefits. Some of them are listed below: