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What is an OSPO? FOSSA

What is an OSPO?

The Rise of the Open Source Program Office

Open source software is fundamentally different from proprietary software. Often, individual teams use and/or build open source differently. Because of this variability, it needs to be approached differently. Managing this strategy is the job of the OSPO (Open Source Program Office).

The Rise of the Open Source Program Office discusses:

  • Things to know when evaluating your need for an OSPO
  • Areas managed by an OSPO
  • Roles key to an OSPO's success
  • The key pillars of a successful OSPO
  • A list of resources to read if you want to build an OSPO

At a high-level, an OSPO is a cross-functional team embedded in your company that helps dictate the open source strategy and policies, and is a key element in ensuring your company is prepared for future evolutions.

Managing your open source program is all about improving efficiency and decreasing risk. Determining what packages to leverage, when developers should contribute, and what internal projects you may want to publish are all strategic business decisions. Determining factors such as which open source licenses are appropriate, whether or not your full-time employees should be contributing to a major open source project, and determining what components will best accelerate your products growth, quality, or security all have implications on both your product’s viability and competitiveness, how your internal resources are being used, and what the risk profile of your company. An OSPO helps to define your open source management strategy.