Open Source for Business

Wish you could do more open source work at your day job? The following article should give you some pointers that you can use to help you explain the business benefits of open source to your company or boss.

Key Benefits

  • Attract a higher calibre of talent
  • Improve reputation and brand recognition among development circles
  • Reflects well on you from a technological and ethical perspective
  • Great experience for junior developers to contribute and learn
  • Opportunity to showcase and share your tech standards
  • Cost saving potential, as once a project is off the ground, external contributors often do the bulk of maintenance and improvements
  • Helps you innovate quicker, the open source code and content tends to move a lot faster than corporate and propriety alternatives

Key Disadvantages / Considerations

  • Comprehensive review process needs to be in place, to ensure that any content you put out is correct, ethical and able to be shared publicly
  • Time constraints - This will take a bit of time to get setup and going

Case Studies

  • GCHQ - They’ve made a number of their internal tools open source (like the famous CyberChef), now the majority of maintenance is done by the community
  • ElseWhen - A small digital consultancy, which published project-guidelines helping them get a reputation for good coding standards
  • Novu - They write great posts on, to share knowledge
  • React - Started by Facebook, React.JS has now seen over 1000 community contributors, helping with bug fixes, docs and feature development
  • RedHat - A multinational company who open source the majority of their offerings, were valued at $34b (by IBM, as of 2019)


  • A GitHub organisation where employees can collate and share public components, utils and knowledge
  • By sponsoring existing projects, which are either up and coming, or that you rely upon to do our job
  • By contributing to existing projects, when the opportunity to do so arises
  • Writing blog posts on a developer-focused site, like