Financial Services Professionals Believe Open Source is Valuable to Industry Growth: FINOS Survey

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.”

Gabriele Columbro, Executive Director of FINOS and General Manager of Linux Foundation Europe, said:

“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.”

Gabriele added:

“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

Madeleine Dassule, Co-Head, Technology, Wellington Management, said:

“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.”

Open source software is “ubiquitous across industries, and financial services are no exception.”

Elspeth Minty, Managing Director, RBC Capital Markets, remarked:

“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.”

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