I attended Openmind last week, an interesting conference organized by the Finnish Centre for Open Source Solutions (COSS) to bring together open source professionals, community members and academics in Finland. In the session about business aspects of open source, in which I gave a talk about FOSS Governance, Nina Helander and Mikko Rönkkö presented the preliminary results of the National Software Industry Survey 2008.
I found the results incredibly interesting. In particular, they found that 75% of responding firms use open source software in some way. This figure is up from approximately 13% in the year 2000, which is a major increase in just a few years. The study also found that that there was no statistically significant difference of company size when it came to the use of open source. Finally, companies that have open source components in their offering rate themselves as more innovative.
Roberto Galoppini, who moderated the session, commented that Finland is where Gartner predicted that companies would be in 3 years. Indeed, I think everyone in the room was pleasantly surprised by the amazing numbers from the survey. We should not forget that the study was with software companies and that the use of open source will certainly be lower in other industries, but nevertheless the study shows that Finland is a leading country when it comes to the adoption of FOSS.
(Originally published on FOSSBazaar)