Why Open Source ? Sustainable systems

sustainability after optimisation

Gartner prepared a report for the world’s leaders, and they announced the five macro trends that will affect governments’ the most strategical business and technology sustainabilities in 2019 and for the first half of 2020. There are;

  • social instability
  • constant austerity
  • sustainable systems
  • the Rise of the Populism
  • Population growth

Even in the report it has been emphasized that these trends not being aligned in terms of their importance, and have been denoted that their effectiveness can change in terms of the geography, demography, and culture besides their layers in themselves; when I read it, I found how the ”sustainable systems” being in the center of this report and placed in a position affecting everything was a little salient.

Two years after that, World Economic Forum 2020 gathered in Davos with the theme of “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World.” The manifest was;

“The aim of a company involves all stakeholders to create mutual and sustainable value. While creating that kind of value, a company serves not only its shareholders but also its stakeholders (employees, customers, suppliers, local communities, and generally to society). The best way to understand the different interests of all stakeholders and make them cohesive is to have a joint commitment to the politics and decisions that strengthen the welfare of the company in the long term.”

Instead of the “Capitalism of Shareholders,” it is the “Capitalism of Stakeholders”

In the manifest, producing solutions based on the stakeholders’ different profits is presented as the road map of the sustainable achievement for “The Ideal Companies of Tomorrow.”

For Example,

  • To keep the digital ecosystem safe and consistently reliable for the customers.
  • To sustain employability and to ensure adaptation to a rapidly changing world by improving the present skills and talents of the employees and supporting them to learn new skills
  • For society, to protect the biosphere and to defend circular shared, and regenerating economy. Constant extending the limits of technology, innovation, and knowledge to increase the comfort of people.
  • To create short-term, medium-term, and long-term value for its shareholders in pursuit of sustainable shareholder yields.

But I would like to engage your attention to the emphasis on Sustainability and Stakeholdership as the topic of what worlds’ leading businessmen talking for a couple of years.

The business world recommends the stakeholders capitalism instead of shareholder capitalism, which has the mentality of seeing that the only purpose of a company is to gain the maximum profit. In other words, not only the shareholders but also the employees, customers, suppliers, and society will be looked after.

Well, What is this sustainability?

The definition of sustainability is to exist permanently. Until recently, it was associated with protecting the biosphere in general. However, the meaning of the term is not limited only by environmental factors.

Fundamentally, to make an exact definition of “Sustainability” in our day is very hard. Yet if it needs to tell shortly, it can define the potentials being both usable today and sustainably transferred for the future.

If we get back to our topic, now stakeholders (employees, customers, suppliers, local communities, and society in general) are the parts of all kinds of solutions and systems in our day. The solutions and services need to improve in a cycle that avails continuously.

Consequently, to reach sustainability has been talked in the business environment, all installed systems have to harmonize with other stakeholders because there is a prediction that all parameters that don’t avail to stakeholders or affect them negatively will be out of the equation.

Sustainability for Information Technologies

The Sustainability of software (or the Maintainability) is related to how the software developed effortlessly and how less harm is given to software by further new features. The sustainability of software has importance mostly in terms of maintainability.

DevSecOps (Development Security Operations) term that we started to hear lately also came up because DevOps methodology was not enough to create sustainable systems.

sustainable systems will lead less maintenance

Because the security gaps came out during the development of the software and releasing in DevOps Culture (as you can see on the diagram) creates different results in terms of cost regarding the period they have been noticed.

For instance, a credit card verification notification that is forgotten just at the beginning of the process of development, when it is noticed on the live system today. can make you lose millions in a couple of minutes.

So DevOps was replaced by DevSecOps and I can easily tell that it is because creating sustainable systems.

Open Source and Sustainability

The open source stakeholders are both the product developers and the customer of the product at the same time. The open source software is being used more all around the world in every passing day. One of the main reasons to be preferrable is its sustainability.

The best example of that is Linux. Linux stakeholders who used to be called “Hacker Kids,” “Couple of Computer Geek” in old times, but today, they gathered all known big IT companies under the roof of the Linux Foundation.

Sustainability is especially very essential while developing the interactive interface and operating systems that contain millions of lines. Each feature we add to the system brings the risk of incoordination and security together. Apple was developing only one operating system (Darwin which is Opensource) and only one interface platform (Cocoa) until 2006. They used the same platform for the mobile phone, which was revolutionary. MacOS, IOS, and IPadOS are the versions been compiled for different devices of the same platform.                                                                                                                                                 

Everyone speaks about how App Store and the applications are revolutionary in the smartphone market, but a more significant revolution is preferring a desktop platform on mobile devices. In this way, they could keep all security updates and software developments that have been released within the same ecosystem.

Microsoft couldn’t do the same thing. Their preferences (WindowsCE and WindowsMobile) have been developing different monolith systems.

Therefore, Microsoft is no more called an operating System company, they call themselves Cloud Company.

The software of MacOS been developed by Next in the 1990s. Apple could build a sustainable infrastructure in the virtue of its’ brave and revolutionary choices. (Darwin is a FreeBSD based an open source platform)

If you look to Linux in that context you will see that it is more widely used on many different solutions and is used on more than 10 Billion devices.

Just look to the open source softwares like Apache, Mysql, KVM, nginx, Kubernetes.. and Linux. These softwares are providing sustainable solutions with their collaboration around their stakeholders.

Softwares that are not Open Source will lose its reliability and sustainability in time. This prediction should have affected some of the World’s leading software companies so that SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft already started to work with Open source codes and are now re-position themselves as Cloud companies.

One latest update is from the Apple side about their Macbook platform. They announced to leave Intel and move to ARM chips. So now Apple will maintain one OS for all their platforms even without recompiling them.


IBM System Science Institute