Open source has become a key enabler of business and technology transformation in almost all organizations. From cloud deployment to application modernization and security operation, open source plays a critical role. It is used in almost all organizations, delivers business growth, facilitates innovation, and allows organizations to respond to their technical, organizational, business and industry challenges in order to scale into new markets, products, and services. Yet, many organizations do not have open source representation in their C-Suite. Organizations may assign the responsibility for open source management to the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) or Head of IT, who may have purely technical and engineering backgrounds and mindsets, and cannot fully and appropriately represent the value of engaging in open source activities. This lack of dedicated executive representation results in open source not being understood and prioritized correctly at the C-level. The need to manage and leverage open source effectively has given rise over the past decade to the new role of Chief Open Source Officer. In this article, we argue for the need to appoint such a role to steer effective open source governance that is aligned with corporate governance, its mission and vision. The position requires a strong presence within the top executive team that can set the right level of engagement for an open source strategy.
By Gilles Gravier, Director & Reza Alavi, Managing Consulting, Both of Open Source Consulting Practice, Wipro Limited