When I joined JBoss around a decade ago, open source was in a much different place. Companies were reluctant to deploy open source software into production environments. Even with early open source companies showing success, such as Red Hat, many enterprises were still skeptical of open source being a viable alternative to traditional commercial software. There were still concerns about the maturity of the software, security and support. Legal departments were weary of licensing terms and even how to “procure” software without a purchase order was an issue.

Over the years these concerns about open source began to melt away and enterprise adoption of open source took off. Linux proved to be one of the strongest champions for open source in the enterprise landscape. At the start of 2002 Linux had 25% of the server OS market [1]. As of 2012, Linux runs more than 64% of all the websites in the world [2]. Linux has also made a big impact in the cloud with nearly 97% of Amazon’s web-facing computers running Linux [3]. This year Red Hat reached the $1 billion mark, being the first open source company to do so.

Over the last decade we also saw java become the most popular programing language in the world [4], which spurred on the growth of open source projects such as Apache Tomcat, JBoss, Hibernate and Spring. Over the past 10 years, these projects have been downloaded by millions of developers and deployed in many of the largest enterprise applications running today, to include Bank of America, WalMart and E*Trade [5]. A survey conducted 2006 showed that 64% of all enterprises were already using Spring [6].

There was also massive adoption of open source databases over the last decade, with MySQL being the most notable. According to the Gartner Group, in 2008 MySQL was already installed in 50% of the world’s IT shops [7]. And although MySQL was purchased by Sun Microsystems in 2008, who was then purchased by Oracle in 2012, MySQL is still predicted to grow 40% through 2015 [8].

Today it’s clear that open source has overcome many of its early obstacles and has cemented its place in enterprise development. A recent study showed that 98% of enterprises are now using open source software [9].

As we look to the future, the next decade will likely be just as bright for open source. Open source is already prevalent in mobile development with use in 88% of android devices apps and 41% of iOS apps [10].

The world of big data, which is projected to be at least a $16 billion market by 2015 [11], is primarily being driven by open source frameworks such as Hadoop. The NoSQL database market in general is already being dominated by open source projects such as MongoDB, Neo4j, CouchDB, Cassandra, and Redis. Today’s web applications are also quickly moving to the use of open source javascript frameworks to build rich internet applications. These open source frameworks include Backbone.js, ExtJS, jQuery and AngularJS and the list grows longer every month.

Open source has come a long way in the last decade and looks to be an even more dominant force in enterprise development over the next decade.