Second Annual Survey from Fintech Open Source Foundation Highlights Significant Increase in Consumption, Contribution, and Strategic Value for Open Source in Financial Services
New York, NY – December 8, 2022 –
The adoption of open source in the financial services industry is on the rise, largely led by organizations with Open Source Program Offices (OSPOs), which are more than twice as likely to encourage open source consumption, and nearly three times as likely to encourage open source contribution. These insights and more were the results of the Fintech Open Source Foundation’s (FINOS) 2022 State of Open Source in Financial Services Survey, conducted in partnership with GitHub, Linux Foundation Research, Red Hat, and Scott Logic.
The study of nearly 250 financial services professionals, from both the buy side and the sell side, found that 56% of financial organizations are getting more value from open source consumption compared to last year. When it comes to contributing to the open source movement, commonly understood benefits of organizations actively involved include improving the overall quality of open source, making the workplace more attractive, improving security, and fulfilling a moral obligation.
“The results of this year’s survey confirm what we saw in our community, with over 20 financial institutions rolling out OSPOs resulting in a wave of acceleration in the engagement in open source, laying out the necessary building blocks for an organic, growing, and sustainable open community in the industry,” said Gabriele Columbro, Executive Director of FINOS and General Manager of Linux Foundation Europe. “While we know there is still a lot of work to do to reach full maturity, we’re extremely proud of the major role that FINOS played in opening up financial services to the disruptive innovation benefits open source can deliver to this sector, very much as it has in all other industries in the last two decades.”
Despite this improvement and the recognition of value, financial services is still behind other industries. The World of Open Source: 2022 Europe Spotlight survey reported that organizations in IT (61%), science (58%), and telecoms (48%) are more likely to openly encourage open source contribution than in financial services (30% as found in the FINOS survey). In addition, the Spotlight survey found that 57% of respondents reported having policies that openly encourage open source consumption, compared with 48% in financial services.
Additional survey findings include:
Signs point to a greater appreciation of the value of open source
87% of respondents indicated open source as valuable to the future of financial services
56% of respondents report that over the last year, the value their organization derives from open source consumption has increased
More than half (54%) of respondents shared that contributing to open source improved the quality of the software they are currently using
Active participation in open source was cited as a key factor in recruiting and retaining IT talent
AI, Machine Learning, Data & Analytics; Cybersecurity; and Blockchain/DLT are the open source technologies most valuable to the future of financial services
Consumption is getting a lot of attention
48% of respondents work in organizations where open source consumption is encouraged, almost doubling the value from 2021
An 82% decrease in organizations prohibiting open source consumption, down to just 3% in 2022 compared to 17% in 2021
Contribution could use more attention
Another positive indicator is that 38% of respondents reported an increase in time their organizations allocated for open source contributions
64% of financial organizations maintain at least 1 open source software project
Over half (54%) of respondents shared that contributing to open source improved existing software quality
74% of organizations reported they have processes in place to release code outside of their organization, but still struggle with manual and time-consuming implications
The industry is making more commits
This year there were more than 36,107 repositories with financial services committers, an increase of 43% compared to last year
Just over half the code within the financial services dataset evaluated was written in Java, compared to 11% in the entire GitHub corpus
GitHub commits were up 25% year-over-year
Leadership is essential, challenging, and nuanced
There has been a 16% increase in the prevalence of Open Source Program Offices (OSPOs) within financial services organizations (44% in 2021 vs 51% in 2022)
Having an OSPO or visible leader has a significant positive impact on employees’ perception that their organizations are leaders in open source
Security is a clear and ever-present concern
77% of respondents agree (strongly or somewhat) that organizations should be actively contributing to open source in an effort to improve security
Legal, compliance, and security were identified as top focus areas for firms that want to increase open source consumption
“Open source and industry standards enable us to collaborate with buy-side and sell-side peers to drive innovation and increase interoperability on behalf of our clients.” — Madeleine Dassule, Co-Head, Technology, Wellington Management
Open source software is ubiquitous across industries, and financial services are no exception. “Open source is used in some form in around 90 percent of systems. If you include tooling around compilers and runtime and builds and deployment, it’s 100 percent.” — Elspeth Minty, Managing Director, RBC Capital Markets
In its second year, this survey identifies various topics related to open source aspirations, consumption, contribution, and leadership, in addition to obstacles and challenges faced by the financial services industry. Conducted from July to September 2022, the survey was distributed and promoted across research partner social media channels, websites, newsletters, and via direct email campaigns. The report draws on survey data, industry data, and insights culminating from a series of qualitative interviews. The results of the survey were announced today during the annual Open Source in Finance Forum in New York.
FINOS (The Fintech Open Source Foundation) is a nonprofit whose mission is to foster adoption of open source, open standards and collaborative software development practices in financial services. It is the center for open source developers and the financial services industry to build new technology projects that have a lasting impact on business operations. As a regulatory compliant platform, the foundation enables developers from these competing organizations to collaborate on projects with a strong propensity for mutualization. It has enabled codebase contributions from both the buy- and sell-side firms and counts over 50 major financial institutions, fintechs, and technology consultancies as part of its membership. FINOS is also part of the Linux Foundation, the largest shared technology organization in the world. Get involved and join FINOS as a Member.
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