Three New Things To Know About Organizations and Their Contributions to Open Source Communities​

A recent study from the TODO Group shows that a growing number of well known companies are increasing their upstream contributions to the open source projects maintaining the very software that these businesses rely on. As a result, some of these companies are gaining a reputation as a “good open source community citizen.” At OpenMRS, we’re seeing a similar trend. How can the OpenMRS Community help organizations to “do” open source with OpenMRS and become “good OpenMRS community citizens?” 

What the data tells us about organizations and open source contributions

According to a 2020 survey of companies on Open Source Programs , more and more companies and organizations are upping their engagement and contributions to open source projects. An increasing number of these companies are becoming known as “good open source community citizens.” As good citizens, these companies are not only making contributions to open source projects, but are collaborating and leading projects and initiatives within the open source ecosystem.

Why are companies like Red Hat, Google, IBM and Microsoft contributing to open source projects?

These companies choose to engage with open source communities for a few reasons. Many companies acknowledge that they rely heavily on open source software (like github) in their daily business operations. More and more companies who are frequent contributors cite the greater return on their investment they get when they contribute to open source projects. Some companies are starting to see hidden benefits of engaging with open source communities that can turn into their competitive advantage.

Some companies are going further on their open source journey, many are still “consumers.”

There are a multitude of ways that organizations can be engaged and contribute to open source projects. The return on investment that companies see and their reputation as “good open source community citizens” depend on how they engage with open source communities or “do” open source. Even though most companies are still consuming open source code or sharing their finished product, there is a growing number who are going further down the open source road by becoming increasingly active and giving back to open source communities.

What about OpenMRS? Is the same thing happening with our community?

The short answer? Yes, the OpenMRS community sees similar trends. 

As of December 2020, the OpenMRS Community is aware of over 30 organizations that are implementing OpenMRS in at least 40 countries and more than 6,500 health facilities. Since we updated our community model in 2019, the number of organizations engaging and contributing to our squads has doubled, from 6 in 2019 to 12 in 2020. Most organizations are using OpenMRS technology while a smaller, yet growing number are making the choice to actively and meaningfully engage with our community.

Imagine what our community could achieve with a large and diverse group of organizations making technical and non-technical contributions alike. When organizations have a shared stake in our collective success, we become a more sustainable community. 

We’re hearing from more and more organizations that they not only want to contribute more but that they want to know what and how they can contribute. We can easily share the ways that organizations can contribute to OpenMRS. Get Involved hits on many of them. What might be next? De-mystifying what “contributing” to OpenMRS might look like for different organizations, regardless of where they are on their journey with the OpenMRS community, could clear the way for organizations who want to become a better “OpenMRS community citizen.”

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Three New Things To Know About Organizations and Their Contributions to Open Source Communities​
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