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Embracing open source could be a big competitive advantage for businesses

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As companies chase the transformational technologies that will deliver exponential returns, they should turn their attention from the “what” to the “how.” One type of software underpins many of the most exciting, cutting-edge innovations today, including AI, cloud, blockchain, and quantum computing: open source.

The concept of open source is not new. The free exchange of technological information predates computers and, throughout modern history, has fueled innovation across not just computing but also manufacturing. Open source code has existed for decades, can be harnessed quickly to deliver meaningful business results, and can drive progress beyond our office walls, contributing to the greater good.

Open source plays a vital role in democratizing new technologies by creating communities dedicated to advancing them. And the results of the collective development across those communities are far greater than the sum of their parts. No single organization, regardless of how vast the armies of developers it employs are, can match the pace of innovation that open source offers. As Jim Zemlin, the executive director of the Linux Foundation, says: “Linux is the only software that changes nine times an hour.”

For businesses, committing to open technologies isn’t merely wide-eyed altruism: it’s a clear-eyed business strategy. In fact, the vast majority of Fortune 500 companies consume open source at some level or another. From the space program, to cryptocurrency, to gaming, open........

© Fast Company