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How Open Source boosts the Big Data-Driven Business

Open Source offered fertile ground for digital transformation. Though Open Source revolutionized software, it now has an impact in larger business fields. But this phenomenon is way older than the Big Data revolution we are currently living, as Philippe Very, Lead Data Scientist at Sidetrade explains.

Open Source refers to software licenses that can be freely redistributed, accessed and utilized to create derivative works. The source code is made available for the public and often results from collaboration between programmers.

Today, Open Source licenses benefit to all sectors: server environments, component areas, engineering tools, networks and security solutions, and so on. Open Source powering Data Science

Open Source licenses have largely been promoted and used, first by public organizations, than by private companies. This model allows a simplified access to recent technologies, to create web applications for example but also to manage databases and in scientific computing. Today, there is a massive stream of data coming from social networks, websites, mobile apps, cyber commerce, CRM, ERP… To process, clean and analyze data, companies have an increasing need of powerful technologies. To answer to this need, “NoSQL” software and technologies editors working around Big Data, like DataBricks or Cloudera, are drastically turning to Open Source.

Open Source licenses, because of the freedom and the simplicity they offer, represent a true opportunity for Data Scientists. Statistics and machine learning open libraries, available in programming languages like R, Python or Java, became richer and easier to use than proprietary software. Open Source is not even really a choice anymore for Data Scientists.

Aware of these opportunities, some companies like Dataiku started to link many Open Source licenses or to offer support and quality certification besides Open Source code. Is Open Source a business opportunity?

These models easing the access to technology enabled the development of new platforms. Google, Facebook, Amazon or eBay: the biggest web actors exploit Linux, which is an open operating system. In fact, according to a recent study, Linux would hold 90% market shares of Amazon’s Cloud.

Open Source has a strong business impact and revolutionizes Research & Development projects in many companies. A survey by the Open Source National Assembly highlighted that 70% of Open Source actors invest more than 10% of their revenue in R&D activities, and 50% of them invest even more than 15%.

Open Source reduces development costs and delays at a so far unimaginable level, thus impacting Time-to-Market. Open Source is now considered as a true revolution in the software industry. Nowadays, developers and Data Scientists use software bricks, including Open Source licenses, to focus on the development of high added-value products. Solutions can be developed way faster and, thanks to the contribution of a large community of contributors, enriched with innovative features and tested until reaching a high quality of work. As a result, companies benefit from more relevant and effective predictive analytics solutions, built on customer data, Open Data and Open Source licenses.

Today, the Open Source market gathers more than 300 SME and SSII in countries like France, and global revenue of more than 2.5 billion euros – which represents 6% of the software and IS market, with an annual growth of 30%. Open Source breaks down the boundaries of public organizations or corporate Information Systems Divisions to democratize the access of technology at a larger scale and accelerate the implementation of innovative solutions in companies. In one word, Open Source becomes a strategic key to the digitalization of processes.

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