FOSS Backstage 2024 - Open Source is nearly normal?

Attending the 2024 Foss Backstage was again a real pleasure, my last one was in 2022. I enjoyed participating in a conference in Berlin, in person and about Open Source. The only thing I don't understand is, why not more people come to it, there where only about 200 attendees on-site and another 60 online.

Corporate Open Source

Open Source in the business and as a serious business practice is clearly growing up. Most larger companies who sent representatives to this conference already have some sort of Open Source governance framework in place. It was also a nice meeting of many old acquaintances from the German corporate Open Source community.

Has Open Source outgrown the OSPO (video), since SUN defined the role 25 years ago? - asks Per Ploug Krogslund who established Open Source Program Office (OSPO) teams at Zalando and Spotify.

By my own observation it clearly has not outgrown it: Outside this Open Source conference, most companies I personally speak with don't have a single policy about Open Source - and don't see it as a priority or don't feel the need to invest.

Even supply chain security, where Open Source can really shine with good end-end automation, is not enough of a motivation for companies to invest into an OSPO. Also, for most smaller companies, the costs and efforts are way too high to even consider establishing an OSPO or implementing Open Source policies.

Looking at the other talks, I realised that this conference is primarily for companies who are rather mature in their Open Source dealings - or who want to take the next step. For example, Mirko Boehm of the Linux Foundation talked about EU cybersecurity regulation and Open Source governance (video), which is super important for all Open Source contributors. But again, only mature or larger companies can afford to deal with it.

I personally think that eventually we should establish OSPO or Open Source compliance as a commodity, that can be out-sourced and that smaller companies can buy on-demand as much as they need it. Without building up their own staff to handle all OSS topics.

Talking about Relax and Recover as Open Source Project

This year I also gave a talk. Together with Gratien D'haese my topic was: Why is there no new Release? Nobody pays for the basics :-( (video) where we share some insights into the Relax and Recover Open Source project "behind the scenes":

Are you interested in learning more about the topic of Open Source in your company, or with Linux disaster recovery & bare metal restore? Together with my colleagues from Tektit Consulting I'll be happy to support you with your personal Open Source journey!


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