The Open Source Wave in SCM

A recent Forrester survey has confirmed what those of us working in the ALM space have seen coming for several years: the open source wave has hit SCM.  The wave isn’t on the horizon, it’s not something you need to prepare for someday – it has well and truly arrived.

The numbers tell the tale.  As you can see in the infographic below, Subversion and Git lead the enterprise SCM market with a share of 28.8%.  Subversion is a stable and mature system proven at scale in challenging environments, and is widely accepted in mainstream enterprise development organizations.  Git is now moving past the early adopter phase.  And of course Subversion and Git are the dominant SCM solutions for open source projects.

SCM Adoption

SCM Adoption

The gradual adoption of proven open source technologies in the enterprise should come as no surprise.  We’ve seen this trend before with the Apache web server (51% market share), Linux data center servers (23% of revenue), and Android (81% of devices shipped).

Why did the open source wave arrive in SCM over the last couple of years?  (Depending on your perspective, you may be thinking ‘why did it take so long’ or ‘how did it happen so fast’.)  A few trend lines converged at the right time.

First, the face of enterprise development is changing.  The software industry is widely adopting lean development principles like the Scaled Agile Framework and continuous delivery.  Subversion and Git are well suited for the workflows that support lean development.

Second, Git and particularly Subversion have matured both in features and in commercial support options.  Maintaining enough internal expertise to be completely self-sufficient is both expensive and difficult, so the rise of a thriving ecosystem of commercial vendors around an open source project is a hallmark of enterprise adoption.  Vendors like WANdisco both sponsor future development and provide enterprise support, services, and products for Subversion and Git.

The future is indeed bright for Subversion and Git.  The 21% of developers not using SCM will likely adopt an open source SCM solution – why would they look anywhere else – while the 17% using legacy solutions will likewise look to Subversion and Git as the logical upgrade paths.  Economics will eventually drive a good part of the ‘everything else’ category into the Subversion and Git camps as well.  If you’re looking to make the move, our quick reference cards on Subversion and Git are a good place to start.

The open source wave in SCM is here.  Are you ready?

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