Image: Canonical

Canonical (the company behind Ubuntu) made an important announcement this week. Said announcement was that its managed services had achieved MSP Cloud Verify Certification (MSPCV). According to the company, “The certification further strengthens Canonical’s industry-leading open source offering, reassuring customers in all industries that they can securely consume open source in a regulated fashion that complies with all the industry standards and best practices.”

Canonical also mentioned in its PR material that 85% of enterprise businesses have an open source mandate to increase agility and reduce costs.

At the same time, Canonical announced the availability of Ubuntu Livepatch on-prem, which is an enhancement to the Ubuntu Livepatch service and provides the basis for an efficient, but fine-tuned continuous vulnerability management on private, hybrid or public clouds.

SEE: 5 Linux server distributions you should be using (TechRepublic Premium)

Upon reading the new announcement, my brain decided there was a point to be made. That point is simple: It’s past time for enterprise businesses to place their complete trust in open source technology.

I spend a lot of time reading about open source and hearing from companies that are doing everything they can to ensure open source software garners the trust it has long deserved. Such companies and efforts are popping up everywhere. At first, my mind considered the possibility that this was nothing more than a means for startups to make a quick buck. I imagined young CEOs standing at the head of a boardroom table (or Zoom meeting) to say, “Hey, we can capitalize on this movement and build something that creates value add or confidence in open source software for enterprise businesses.”

That’s great. Go for it. But the truth of the matter is, it’s already crystal clear that enterprise businesses cannot do what they do without open source software. The cloud wouldn’t exist without open source. Containers? No way. Kubernetes? Nope. AWS? Azure? Those two giants wouldn’t be nearly as powerful as they are without open source software.

So this begs the question, why do open source companies and developers have to go out of their way to prove they are worthy and secure enough for enterprise businesses?

OK, I get the fact that these certifications are important to big enterprise companies. They need those acronyms and papers to feel confident enough to use a piece of software. But are we heading toward a situation where every single open source project is going to have to land multiple certifications, just to be considered viable to use in business?

This reminds me of a period in IT history when no prospective admin could get a job without a CompTIA certification or some stamp of approval from Microsoft. I cannot tell you how many people I ran into with those certifications who couldn’t administer their way out of a Windows printer error. To me, those certifications meant nothing in comparison to real-world experience.

And that’s exactly what open source software has in abundance, real-world experience.

I would challenge anyone reading this to come up with an enterprise business not using Linux or open source software. Take your time, I’ll wait.

You got nothing.

That’s because the world couldn’t function as it is without open source software. That’s not hyperbole, that’s fact. Every large business on the planet relies on open source software. And they use it, whether it’s certified gold, platinum, diamond, or with a litany of acronyms. Why? Because open source not only “just works,” it’s flexible enough to fit in exactly where it needs to be. And if a piece of open source technology doesn’t work exactly as needed, it can be changed at will.

That’s not to say these certifications aren’t important. They are. Executives at Fortune 100/500/1000/3.14159 companies need those certifications to feel good about their choices. And that companies like Canonical are going out of their way to ensure their offerings meet and exceed those certifications is a great thing to see.

But there are just as many companies out there using open source software, be it certified or not. And guess what…it works and works brilliantly.

Enterprise businesses need to trust the software that has been powering the internet (and the apps that are served on it) for decades. Open source software has proved itself, time and time and time again, that it is business-grade for a very long time.

It’s secure. It’s agile. It’s scalable. It’s flexible. It’s everything businesses need to power their software development lifecycle, their supply chain and their workflows. And, to be certain, open source isn’t going anywhere. In the next 10 years, I predict open source software will have replaced the vast majority of proprietary software within the world of not just enterprise businesses, but small and midsized businesses as well. That’s a bet I’m willing to take any day of the year.

Yes, we should definitely celebrate the achievements of Canonical and Ubuntu. That company (and its operating system) has helped to fundamentally reshape how businesses survive and thrive in a world of ever-growing demand and competition. And given so many businesses might not even be in business without open source software, it’s time those companies put their full trust in the software they either already depend on, or will soon.

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