Open Source is driving innovation

Share this post:

IBM’s dedication to open source

Unknown to many, IBM has a long and proud history around open source software and continues to take open source seriously. In the past 5 years alone, IBM have invested close to $1 billion and dedicated hundreds of open source development-, marketing- and evangelism resources.

To ensure every IBMer working with open source – either on company or personal time – fully understand the ever changing benefits and risks, we ask of them to take our one hour annual training. More than 62.000 IBMers complete this training every year. The training include an explanation of why open source is key to our corporate strategy, and why it’s important for all our developers to consume and contribute to open source.

Many of our commercially offered technologies and solutions are built on open source. A prime example is WebSphere Application Server, where more than 70% is open source, comprising more than 700 open source components. And WebSphere is not alone, many of our strategic solutions are powered by open source including cloud solutions, big data and analytics, blockchain, IoT, machine learning, AI / Watson and even around our Quantum Computing offerings contain open source elements.

In addition to consuming open source and contributing to a vast array of projects, IBM has also made many major contributions/donations to open source. For Hyperledger Blockchain IBM’s initial donation was more than 40.000 lines of code. Other donations include: Java, OpenLiberty, OpenWhisk serverless platform, Quantum computing API Qiskit, AI Fairness 360 Toolkit, AI Robustness Toolbox, Apache Toree, Apache SystemML and over 100 others in just the past 3 years.

IBM are careful about not forking community code. We do not want to create an “IBM Hyperledger” or “IBM Cloud Foundry” – the open source we integrate into our client facing products and solutions are based on the open source community releases. We invest in the community code and ensure that fixes and new features are up-streamed rather than adding extra complexity and effort on IBM’s part to maintain an independent, differentiating version.

IBM believes that contributing to open source projects is good manners and part of our responsibility and the essence of “the IBM way.” We continue to evolve our process to encourage our developers to engage and contribute to open source communities.

We believe that our focused engagement in open source communities is a differentiating value for our clients and if you want to read more about IBM’s position on open source, including our recommendations to clients who embark on a journey to integrate more open source, I suggest you spend 10 minutes reading what you’ll find behind the two links below.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at if you have any questions.

1. IBM’s approach to open technology – read here
2. Become an open Enterprise – read here.

Transformation Architect, CTO team IBM Software Group, Europe

More Cloud stories

Migrations to SAP HANA

As previously posted (here), the event on Migrations to SAP HANA in our Client Center in Copenhagen (Holte) is coming up on the 27th of May. The same event will take place the following day of May 28 in Oslo. Event details can be found here: Migration to SAP HANA is no trivial task At IBM […]

Continue reading

UX as an integrated practice in innovation projects

(First of three blog posts in this series) In today’s pool of startup companies delivering clean solutions in a fast and agile way, it is important for IBM to deliver tailor-made solutions with great customer experiences to our clients. This means that it is not enough to draw on an old IBM product and paint […]

Continue reading

AI technology can differentiate your business

AI technologies such as Machine and Deep Learning are starting to change the landscape of business.  Organizations that successfully exploit these technologies will experience a significant competitive advantage. Are you interested in understanding to what extent your organization is ready for implementing AI technologies? Are you interested in understanding more about AI technologies and how […]

Continue reading