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OpenUK Report

State of Open: The UK in 2021

97% of UK companies surveyed use open source and 89% are running open source software.

Download OpenUK Report Phase Two


UK is Europe’s number one contributor to open source software and open source contributes up to £43.1bn pa to GDP

Download OpenUK Report Phase One

State of Open Phase 2 Survey outputs

273 UK businesses took part in the Phase 2 Survey. The Survey output is shared in State of Open, Phase Two along with a number of participant case studies in finance, charity and tertiary education. Phase Three will include more on finance along with energy, healthcare and retail.

OpenUK will conduct a further survey in 2022.

State of Open: The UK in 2021, Phase 2 and Survey interview of Dr Jennifer Barth by OpenUK CEO, Amanda Brock

State of Open: The UK in 2021, Phase 2

Case Studies

State of Open Phase Two

Survey undertaken across UK Business and Industry in Q2, 2021, with output and case studies.

Key Findings:97% Of UK Organisations Use Open Source technologies and 89% run opens source software, According To OpenUK Survey; 53% of non-tech organisations contribute to open source software projects; 77% of UK public sector looks to open source for skills development; and Just over half (54%) have written policies and processes for open source contributions 

According to the report’s research, the vast majority of respondents (89%) run open source software internally in their business, while approximately two thirds (65%) contribute to open source software projects. This demonstrates the commitment that the UK has to  contributing to open source, either through leading projects that are used internationally or by helping international projects to improve.

The main reasons for adopting open source were cited as saving on costs (75%), more collaboration (72%), skill development (64%), the quality of code (61%) and security (52%). 

Phase Two has been sponsored by GitHub.

State of Open Phase One

Literature overview of the State of Open, using existing materials including the soon to be published European Commission report, Harvard and Linux Foundation, CNCF, IBM and Red Hat Cloud reports and Tidelift report along with interviews.

Key Findings: The UK is a centre of excellence in open source software;  open source software contributes up to £43.1billions to the UK economy; and the UK is Europe’s number one contributor and one of the biggest contributors to open source software in the world.

Phase One was sponsored by GitHub, Open Invention Network and SUSE.

State of Open Phase Three

A new value based approach to the economic contribution of open source software, to be published in September 2021. OpenUK are looking to partner with and collaborate with economists and interested parties globally.

Our Phase Three findings will focus on UK data, to demonstrate the value of open source software, but are intended to create a state of the art methodology for assessing the value of open source software to the digital economy.

They will also look to the non economic and sometimes intangible benefits of open source software including skills development, collaboration and of course building sustainable technology.

In Phase Three we will also share a number of case studies.

This Report has been produced on behalf of OpenUK by Smoothmedia.
Jennifer Barth Research Director, Smoothmedia.

About Smoothmedia

Smoothmedia looks beyond the surface and behind the curtain of the fundamental innovations and trends shaping our society, markets, culture, and values.

Smoothmedia’s mission is to share and grow knowledge about everyday lives. We want to understand the past, present, and future of human interaction with emerging technologies and socioeconomic changes—from behaviour to context, nature to nurture, origin to experiences—so we can help our clients engage their clients and the public imagination.

Dr. Jennifer Barth

Dr Jennifer Barth is an experienced ethnographer and social researcher, with a DPhil from the University of Oxford. Her work is informed by empirical research on the intersections of emerging technologies and socioeconomic change. She provides companies with thought leadership and media engagement opportunities on global issues impacting and shaping our current and future socio-cultural lives.

Phase Two of our report is sponsored by:

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