Community Blog

Community Blog

Developing Open Source Governance

May 17, 2022

Have you read the The State of Open Source in Financial Services report yet? The report gives insight into open source leadership, governance, collaboration and much more.

One of the key findings show that respondents have an appetite to consume and contribute to open source but lack clarity about governance, policies, processes, tools and training. As indicated in the below infographic the results show that 67% have an open source policy at their organization, 21% do not and 11% do not know. So there’s room for further improvements in the financial services industry.

The most important element of a governance program is a policy that lays out the guidelines for how open source is used in an organization and having a group of individuals assigned to manage compliance with the policy. This often takes the form of a review board with cross-functional skills or an Open Source Program Officer (OSPO) whose responsibilities are to advise, build, implement, and evolve a governance program and address exception cases to the policy. As suggested in the report, organizations should consider that they need to employ full-time open source staff to reap the benefits of open source initiatives.

According to one OSPO director, “Previously, we had an open source review board. Volunteer firefighters are great, and volunteer firefighters are necessary. But they also have a day job that requires them to pay their mortgage.” In essence, there’s only so much a volunteer open source contributor can do. It therefore becomes important that open source governance is not adjunct to a staff member’s day-to-day responsibilities but is the full-time job of multiple individuals or, ideally, an entire department.

To learn more download the full report here