On Neutrality, OSPOs, and an Update on the Linux Foundation’s Best Practices Communities in 2021

The Importance of Neutrality

Open Source Program Offices (OSPOs) at our member organizations recognize the importance of neutral governance in the projects they choose to take a dependency on for themselves. They also recognize the importance of “doubling down” on engineering investment. 

These organizations typically are past the stage where they want to be strictly consumers of open source software; they’re ready to be participants (hopefully among many) in the actual development process of the software and tools they are using. They ultimately recognize that the ancillary benefits are significant even if the technical vision might change from their internal priorities.

There are clear benefits to having their projects work under an open governance model designed to encourage other organizations to participate and contribute under a “do-ocracy” where the people doing the work make the decisions for the project community. 

A neutral home for projects can bring stability and trust, such as the community not worrying about the parent pulling back the source code or somehow acting against the community’s interests. It also eliminates any distinction between “Commercial Open Source Software,” where some permissions in the software are limited, and fully open versions of the software. 

The TODO Group: OSPO Collaboration

TODO is an open group of organizations that collaborate on practices, tools, and other ways to run successful and effective open source projects and programs. TODO Group functions as a community to bring the people managing Open Source Program Offices (OSPO) together in a meaningful way; check out the OSPO Landscape (ospolandscape.org) for some examples, or the OSPO101.org materials found at github.com/todogroup/ospo101.

TODO Group publishes guides on collected best practices from the leading companies engaged in open source development. These guides (todogroup.org/guides) aim to help organizations successfully implement and run an open source program office. The TODO Group also hosted the first OSPOCon in North America and Europe this year.

TODO published its 2021 Annual OSPO Survey results in September. The findings indicated there are many opportunities ahead to educate companies about how OSPOs can benefit them.

OSPO Structure: Professionalization continued among OSPOs, with 58% formally structured programs up from 54% the previous year. Prospects for more funding brightened compared to 2020.OSPO Benefits and Responsibilities: OSPOs had a positive impact on their sponsors’ software practices, but their benefits differed depending on the size of an organization.Organizations without an OSPO: Almost half of the survey participants without an OSPO believed it would help their company, but of those that didn’t think it would help, 35% said they haven’t even considered it.Value of Open Source Participation: 27% of survey participants said a company’s open source participation is at least very influential in their organization’s buying decisions.

FinOps: Cloud Financial Operations‭ ‬

The FinOps Foundation joined the LF’s family of communities in June of 2020. Its mission is to advance the discipline of cloud financial operations (“FinOps”) through best practices, education, and standards among individuals responsible for cloud billing and operations.

The FinOps Foundation includes 4000 individual members worldwide and 40 corporate vendor members, including Google, VMware, Accenture, Deloitte, McKinsey, and others. In the same way that DevOps revolutionized development by breaking down silos and increasing agility, FinOps increases the cloud’s business value by bringing together technology, business, and finance professionals with a new cultural set, knowledge skills, and technical processes. 

These efforts are made possible by the dozens of enterprises that support the TODO Group and the FinOps Foundation.

To learn how your organization can get involved with TODO Group, click here 

To learn how your organization can get involved with FinOps Foundation, click here 

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