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The business landscape has been undergoing more rapid change, due in part to digital technology advancements, that are affecting the way we conduct business, the way we deliver services and how we engage with each other. While it can be easy to see how digital technology has changed how we work, it’s more than just new tools. The need to transform culture, values and practices is also growing.

Red Hat has been a leader of open source software, but we’ve also been a leader in an open approach to organization and culture. (Our CEO even wrote a book on it!) As the conversation surrounding open source culture – including increased collaboration, transparency, and meritocracy – increases, we wanted to find out how many of our customers believe organizational change is important and what they are doing about it.

Released today, the Red Hat 2017 Open Source Culture Survey revealed several key findings on changing mindsets and priorities when it comes to how survey respondents’ organizations operate, a reaction to the developing business landscape and new technologies available. It also showed that while collaboration and transparency are top priorities for an open culture for respondents, legacy system, outdated technology and siloed teams are barriers that respondents must overcome before true change can happen.

2017 Open Source Culture Survey key findings

Here’s what results from our open source culture survey showed:

Digital transformation is changing business inside and out. Most respondents agreed that developments in tech are changing the way organizations in their industry must operate in order to succeed (91%).

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As a result, business should look different in the next few years. Most respondents’ organizations are already implementing change management plans (52%) or have developed plans, but haven’t initiated them yet (10%). When asked if they are planning to make significant changes to the way people work together, respondents shared that they plan to make changes in the next 6 months (30%), in the next year (23%), and in the next 2-3 years (14%).

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In those change management plans, IT is the top priority. A large majority of respondents identified IT as the top area that has attempted or will be attempting a culture change (84%). Other key areas are human resources (24%), leadership training (23%), finance (12%) and marketing (12%).

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There’s value in the open source way. Red Hat has structured much of its culture after the open source communities that we work in and their values are often similar to our values – transparency, inclusivity, adaptability, collaboration and community. We believe these values are core to any open culture and survey respondents showed that they are key to their change efforts. Respondents ranked transparency as either extremely important (29%) or very important (45%). Collaboration followed with respondents ranking it extremely important (35%) or very important (33%). Next was community with 24% ranking it extremely important and 40% ranking it very important and adaptability with 26% ranking it extremely important and 38% ranking it very important. Finally, inclusivity came is with 18% rating it extremely important and 36% saying it is very important.

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While respondents see the value in the open source way, there are barriers to culture change. 81% of respondents agree that having an open organizational culture is important to their company. However, only 67% of respondents said that their organization has the resources necessary to build an open culture. Legacy systems and outdated technology are creating barriers to change. More than half of respondents (59%) identify this as one of their organization’s challenges when implementing culture change, next to siloed departments/teams (54%) and budgetary issues (51%). Other challenges include hierarchical management structure (43%), lack of employee buy-in (33%) and reluctance to share knowledge and data (25%).

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The organization of the future is built on collaboration and open communication. Fostering a more collaborative work environment (54%) and encouraging open dialogue and feedback across all levels and departments (46%) are the top changes respondents are already making or plan to make. Respondents are also planning to enhance transparency of internal communications and data (38%), rethink managerial practices and structures (31%) and re-evaluate organizational mission and purpose (22%) to bring more openness to their organizational cultures.

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Methodology

Red Hat’s 2017 open source culture survey polled more than 150 IT decision makers and professionals – including IT managers, developers, engineers and C-level executives – from more than 30 countries, commissioned by Red Hat through TechValidate. Respondents spanned industries – including energy and utilities, education, insurance, telecommunications, computer hardware and software – and came from organizations ranging in size from small businesses and state and local governments to global 500 companies.

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