[OpenStack Foundation] Brand research study recap

Wes Wilson wes at openstack.org
Fri Oct 19 23:21:31 UTC 2018

On October 4th we held a community meeting via conference call to share the results from a recent market research study conducted by ClearPath Strategies , a third party firm on behalf of the OpenStack Foundation. We also presented this data in person in Beijing on October 16. This study consisted of in-person focus groups, a global quantitative survey and in-depth interviews with select open source influencers across the world. The study covered OpenStack’s brand perception, the importance of open source in the industry and the role of open source foundations. In an effort to receive unbiased data, the study was conducted in a way that assured respondents did not know OpenStack Foundation commissioned the research.
As promised during the meeting, we’re sharing the deck reviewed on the call[1] along with the transcript[2] and recording of the community meeting[3].
Key findings from the study include:

• The OpenStack brand is strong. Qualitative research shows users know OpenStack as a powerful open source technology. Those who have direct experience with OpenStack laud its flexibility. These positive perceptions are supported in the quanitative research, as 67% of respondents rate OpenStack “favorable” or “very favorable”, on par with other tech industry leaders. Respondents in China hold an even higher opinion of OpenStack, with 82% rating OpenStack favorably. One common negative perception of OpenStack is that it can be difficult to implement and master.
• Users want open source foundations to curate and improve open source projects. The ideal role of an open source foundation is to help users navigate open source technologies by creating and managing standards and supporting integrations that improve user experience. Users do not want an open source ecosystem in which one foundation houses every project in the market. Rather, foundations should support projects that reflect the wants and needs of their respective communities.
• The OpenStack Foundation has the opportunity to define “open infrastructure”, starting with Summit. The OpenStack Summit already features projects outside the scope of the OpenStack project. By continuing to welcome communities whose projects align with the open infrastructure movement, OpenStack can broaden its reach and define open infrastructure as the thread that ties open source infrastructure projects together. We are currently exploring the name “Open Infrastructure Summit” for our global events starting at the Denver Summit in 2019.
• Open source is our guiding star. Open source technology is increasingly integral to organizations' success, offering teams access to innovative and flexible solutions. Though implementation is not without challenges, 75% say their company contributes to open source software today and 81% of respondents believe open source will become more important to their companies over the next few years.
• New projects can attract new users. In alignment with OpenStack's 2018 strategy, the Foundation has an opportunity to bring new users into the OpenStack community by supporting projects outside of OpenStack and additional strategic focus areas (e.g. CI/CD, Edge Computing, AI and Machine Learning.)

We had quite a few of you on the call and covered a lot of information. Thanks to everyone who attended! While this study is just one piece of the overall picture, we‘re happy it lines up with what we’ve been hearing from the community directly. We have some huge opportunities in front of us and a lot of work to get there!
Feel free to reach out to myself (wes at openstack.org) or Allison Price (allison at openstack.org) with any questions or comments.
Wes Wilson

1. Slides: https://www.openstack.org/assets/marketing/brand-research-2018/The-OpenStack-Foundation-Research-Briefing-100418.pdf
2. Transcript: http://openstack.org/assets/marketing/brand-research-2018/BrandMeetingTranscript.pdf
3. Video: https://www.openstack.org/assets/marketing/brand-research-2018/brand-meeting-video.mp4

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