The TODO Group and the Linux Foundation: Marrying open source and the enterprise

Using open-source software is easy, getting your company to integrate open-source development is hard. The Linux Foundation and the TODO Group aim to change this.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

LAKE TAHOE, Calif. -- Everyone uses open source. Almost everyone develops in open source -- yes, even Microsoft -- but getting corporations onboard with open source is still a problem. In part, Linux Foundation chairman Jim Zemlin explained in the Linux Collaboration Summit keynote speech, that's because "There is a mismatch between business's desire and capability to participate in open source." The answer? Partner with the TODO Group to bring businesses up to speed with open source.

The TODO Group is a cross-industry effort to focus on establishing best practices, tools and programs to support corporate open-source engagement. It was formed in November 2014. Today, its members include Dropbox, Facebook, GitHub, Google, HPE, Microsoft, Twitter, Walmart Labs, and Yahoo. New members include Autodesk, CapitalOne, and SanDisk. Now it's going under the Linux Foundation umbrella as a Foundation project.

If many of those don't sound like open-source companies to you, you haven't been paying attention."From car-makers and banks to retailers and hospitals, every industry relies on open-source software, and every company is an Internet company," said Zemlin. "The TODO Group reaches across industries to collaborate with open source technical and business leaders to share best practices, tools and programs for building dependable, effective projects for the long term."

These companies are doing this, Zemlin explained, because, "Open-source software enables businesses to unite development resources and build common software solutions that ultimately save billions in R&D costs." Open source saves companies money. It's that simple.

Zemlin continued:

More than 78 percent of companies cite a reliance on open source software in business operations. But while open source has become the de-facto standard for software development, there is a gap in the knowledge surrounding development, IP, training and certification, governance and more. These are critical components for establishing, building and sustaining open source projects for the long-term. Because The Linux Foundation today hosts some of the world's most critical open-source projects and provides the events and training opportunities to support these projects, it is a natural home for the TODO Group.

In short, what the TODO Group and the Linux Foundation are doing is bringing the rest of the corporate board over to where the CIO and CTO have been for years: Embracing open source.

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