Pooling of resources, upgrading the value chain, building interoperable ecosystems … open source is the essential instrument for establishing a lasting presence in digital technology and for accelerating the transformation of existing models, both economic , organizational than linked to innovation. The crisis alone justifies a new look. Now is more time for collaboration and open source is the facilitator.
In this climate of crisis where budgets are undergoing drastic slimming treatments, the pooling of resources today appears to be invaluable help to ensure and perpetuate the digital transformation strategies carried out throughout the industry. The innovation models in place, hampered by the information silos of companies’ IS, must, even more than before, be rethought by advocating a dimension of openness. More than a spare wheel, this opening becomes a key to recovery. Restarting the entire system.
Icon of this openness, open source today has a card to play. It even becomes its master instrument. Anchored both in the most modern technologies of the future (big data, cloud, IA, IoT, blockchain), open source today symbolizes the first model of software design and platforms conducive to innovation and thus helps to lay the foundation for the transition to digital. But it’s not just IT, Infrastructure and software. If open source is already a standard in terms of innovation for some companies, it is also because its values convey principles of collaboration, sharing and pooling that re-model the concept of digital manufacturing and economic models. A keystone for building a system where the collaborative development model finds a prominent place in innovation.
It is indeed becoming natural to join forces to initiate this transformation and rethink the circuits and cycles of innovation when “doing with (a lot) less” becomes the norm again. At a time when the government is planning a recovery plan of 100 billion euros, including 7 billion allocated to digital, it is opportune to identify the right mechanism to distill these investments and lay the foundations for innovation and sustainable transformation. Especially when digital technology is the main growth lever for companies.
Pool and rethink relationships with stakeholders in its value chain
For this, it is essential to modify the foundations in place, starting with the relationships that exist between the members of each ecosystem. Companies have the possibility of accelerating innovation and the construction of economic models by pooling and complementing their know-how, without creating interference at the business level. But to be successful, this continuous and controlled collaboration requires a tool capable of bringing out common assets within this ecosystem. Open source appears here as a tool for interoperability and innovation on the one hand, and sustainability and cost control on the other.
The use cases are already visible in the industry. This principle of pooling can be applied to a sectoral approach where stakeholders unite to bring out the missing links in their chain. This observation was made in the field of intelligent industry (smart factory) or in that of the automotive industry. For the latter, the stakes are high because this market must upset the rules of its very established model: transforming automobiles, a commodity good, into autonomous objects inflated with digital and intelligence. And what about agriculture? This primary sector is generally little associated with digital, yet its ongoing transformation places it at the heart of this new model (source: Eclipse IoT Developer Survey 2020). Smart agriculture in itself symbolizes the renewal of a sector thanks to open source. A sector in which the creation of value starts from this pooling of skills and resources.
Open source for sustainable modernization
If these segments, which are very influential in French industry, have adopted this approach, it is because the gains are considerable: the barriers that hamper innovation in companies have been lifted. Open source provides the tools to accelerate this transformation, without increasing investments. Collaboration and openness mechanisms also limit the seller-lock. But the gains are also – above all – of a structural nature, of a much deeper scope: open source decompartmentalizes models and reinvents circuits thanks to these ecosystems. It also allows a company to reclaim its systems by recruiting developers and to gain autonomy in its innovation. However, this vision will only be complete if a clear model of governance is established. A structuring environment capable of supporting communities and securing the links that exist between vertical and technological ecosystems. This fertile environment where innovation can be born is the role played today by open source foundations.
These institutions, which are not backed by a model built on profit – and this is key here – simply provide the guarantee of a successful sustainable project. A solid building to energize and perpetuate a project. The “open source” guarantee.