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2021 State of Open Source in Financial Services survey published

5 October 2021

Lags in governance and executive leadership are holding back the financial services industry from accessing the full benefits of open source software.

This is a key finding of the FINOS 2021 State of Open Source in Financial Services survey report, published today in London at the Open Source Strategy Forum.

Scott Logic is a FINOS Silver Member and worked in partnership with FINOS, The Linux Foundation, Wipro and GitHub to shape, conduct and analyse the survey. There were over 300 responses to the quantitative survey and these were complemented by qualitative research via interviews with a sample of respondents.

The results depict an industry in which open source adoption is widespread and the value of open source is clearly recognised, with the majority of respondents making contributions in their own time. However, the results also demonstrate the extent to which the full benefits of open source are as yet untapped by the financial services sector.

Highly restrictive policies are the reason for this untapped potential, driven by legal and licensing concerns, along with a fear of losing control of intellectual property. Communication issues exacerbate this situation, with a significant number of respondents being unaware of their employer’s open source policies and strategic direction.

“There’s clear enthusiasm for open source in financial services, but the survey has also identified the concerns that constrain its adoption in this highly regulated sector,” said Colin Eberhardt, CTO at Scott Logic and Board Member of FINOS. “I’m greatly encouraged, because this is a solvable challenge. Tried-and-tested policies, processes and tools already exist that financial institutions can use to break through these barriers and benefit from the innovation that open source software and standards deliver.”

Scott Logic has always been an advocate of open source in finance, demonstrated through the company’s longstanding membership of FINOS and our contributions to the community, including D3FC, OpenFin React Hooks and DataHelix. In partnership with FINOS, we also organise Open Source Meetup groups in Edinburgh, Bristol, Leeds and London to foster and grow the open source community in the financial services sector and beyond.

As a consultancy working with global brands in financial services, we have a long history of supporting organisations to adopt open source software and standards. Galvanised by the results of this survey, we will continue to play our part in supporting financial clients to shape policies and processes that enable them to unlock the full benefits of open source in terms of efficiency and innovation.

You can read the FINOS press release here and download a copy of the report here.