Open source represents the codification of global technical knowledge, and effective reuse separates scaling from failing
This is an exclusive interview conducted by Santosh Vaswani, Editor at CIO News with Ashok Balasubramanian, CEO of Open Weaver
About Ashok Balasubramanian:
- CEO of Open Weaver and focuses on leveraging emerging technologies to further digital transformation. He is passionate about the countless possibilities that technology brings to people’s lives and businesses.
- He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the College of Engineering, Guindy, and an MBA in marketing and strategy from IIM Bangalore.
- Previously, he worked with Atos as Global CTO of their Business and Platform Solutions division, Syntel Inc., and Tata Consultancy Services. He has supported clients across North America, Europe, and Asia with their transformation initiatives.
- Member of the Forbes Technology Council, he has been co-chair of the Robotic Process Automation Chapter at IAOP and is part of the leadership team in TechAmerica’s Federal and State Cloud Commissions.
- Family time, running, reading, and the many small pleasures of life keep him grounded.
Owing to the rapid pace of innovation in advanced technologies, open source offers a means to leverage collective knowledge rather than operating in isolated silos.
In today’s world, digital is omnipresent, transforming both our personal and professional lives. As per a report by Statista, the number of mobile phone subscriptions worldwide exceeds 6.5 billion, thus underscoring the significant demand for digital technology. Even businesses must rethink their digital and technology strategies, as the current approach to developing digital experiences is outdated. Relying on developers to write millions of lines of code for each experience is not sustainable. What worked in the Management Information Services (MIS) era will not suffice in the digital age. This interview addresses key questions about adopting OSS and how it can help grow your business.
Why are you optimistic about open source?
Given the high demand for scalable digital solutions and shortages of talent, it’s essential to recognize that open source represents a codification of global technical knowledge and identify effective ways to reuse it. Initially established as a platform for software developers, enthusiasts, and learners to exchange knowledge and experience, open source now covers all software development domains, offering numerous methods and practices. Linux serves as the quintessential example of open source success. Developed initially as a hobby project in 1991, it has evolved to become one of the most critical software applications worldwide. This opportunity exists across all digital use cases. According to GitHub, over 97% of applications utilise open source, with more than 90% of companies using it in some capacity.
How do you see open source adopted in digital initiatives?
The surge in digital growth has resulted in a rise in IT service headcount and skill shortages, evident in recent years. Although beneficial for the services industry in the short run, it incurs a direct cost in terms of services and time. In most projects, it takes several months to build software, applications, and solutions. Alternatively, citizen development tools for automation, no code, and others have become increasingly popular. They offer faster results but suffer from scalability issues and indirect expenses such as maintenance, security, and more. Hence, open source-based reusability provides the best solution for not just faster but also scalable and reliable digital solutions.
How can developers leverage open source solutions in their digital initiatives?
Over the past decade, OSS has entered the application domain, where millions of public repositories and code snippets are shared for implementing use cases. However, users face difficulty utilising this resource, as finding the appropriate solution is akin to locating a needle in a haystack. Additionally, identifying the correct library and code for the requirement poses a challenge, along with concerns regarding licensing, security, code quality, and authenticity. Adhering to licensing requirements is a critical legal requirement, promoting responsible reuse as well as the open source community.
To enable responsible and easy reuse, we launched kandi (pronounced like candy). The name signifies the knowledge and intelligence that accelerate development. kandi helps millions of global developers find re-usable open source libraries and code snippets across 650 million knowledge items, hundreds of thousands of use cases across 23 programming languages, and over 500+ trending tech topics like AI, Blockchain, Metaverse, AR, VR, etc.
What benefits are developers seeing in developing with kandi?
kandi helps developers save over 40% of their application development time and effort. Observing public repositories driving digital development in popular fields like AI, ML, blockchain, crypto, the metaverse, etc. is both fascinating and encouraging. On average, reusing libraries saves more than 400 hours of development time, whereas reusing code snippets saves over 6 hours of development. Using kandi kits to build end-to-end projects drives further acceleration. These time savings are crucial for achieving timely market entry in the digital realm. Open source not only reduces direct costs associated with reuse but also minimizes indirect expenses resulting from open source environments, portability, and maintainability.
What would you advise developers looking to build with open source?
Open source offers a collaborative platform for innovation in cutting-edge technologies, allowing developers to build upon collective knowledge rather than working in isolation. As global developers support numerous open source repositories, it also eliminates bias and promotes localization, reducing risks for users. Moreover, open source solutions eliminate lock-ins to proprietary technologies, reducing user risk altogether.
I am enthusiastic about enhancing the accessibility and reusability of open source for developers through our platforms. I urge all readers to embrace open source reuse in a responsible manner to accelerate the process of digitalization and contribute to global collective knowledge.
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