The global lockdown due to the spread of COVID-19 is a unique historical moment. We are seeing both great success and great challenges in addressing this disease, and at all times there is an awareness that it can impact our close friends and families. To a large extent the OpenChain community is fortunate. Many of our companies allow us to work from home. Many of us are near excellent health services. We are well-positioned to weather this storm.
That said, COVID-19 has disrupted all of our supply chains and it has created a situation where face-to-face meetings have been completely supplemented by remote services. Different companies are at different stages in using such systems and we inevitably face a combination of adjusted priorities and delays in this situation. Open source license compliance is just one component among thousands as we collectively try to maintain services and to bring products to market in a changed world.
During Q1 our community has continued to function effectively. We launched our German Work Group. Our Asian work groups (China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and India) either proceeded entirely remotely or deferred certain activities while continuing core work remotely. Our global automotive and reference tooling work groups continue to bring people together and – in the case of tooling – edge ever closer to describing fully-formed methods for companies to deploy open source tooling for open source compliance automation. Most importantly, our work in bringing OpenChain through the ISO process has continued, and we remain on track for deployment as an official ISO standard in 1H 2020.
Looking forward I would highlight three activities that can help drive us forward and address immediate market requirements.
- We keep pushing our ISO work. This will be a critical development for assisting sales and procurement departments in their understanding, adoption and deployment of our industry standard.
- We work to bridge the physical divide that our community faces due to the pandemic. To make this happen I am going to pivot our bi-weekly calls. With less emphasis on editing our standard (the forthcoming ISO version is fully baked) and our reference material largely produced via local work teams, there is an opportunity to launch an on-going series of webinars to provide access to people and knowledge that we would otherwise obtain at events. The timing schedule remains the same (first Monday, third Monday). Full announcement later today.
- We seek to address the growing market demand for clarity on automation via our Reference Tooling Work Group. Today I am putting out a request to our tooling work group to accelerate activity around one or more turn-key reference implementations of open source tooling for open source compliance. I believe this will provide both the opportunity to guide more companies onto automation in compliance and – just as importantly – it will provide a clear understanding of gaps in existing tools. The latter point will allow us to provide “shopping lists” to activities like ACT, which is a funding umbrella for a growing number of open source tooling projects.
You fit into every part of this
- Join our webinars as part of the audience or as presenters. Ask questions and provide answers. Bridge the knowledge gaps that we all benefit from closing.
- Participate in our local work groups (virtually for now), helping to create reference material in multiple languages that takes companies forward in their desire to deploy the key requirements of quality open source compliance programs.
- Take part in our global work groups (reference tooling, automotive, education) and help to tie together whole-sector understanding and responses.
Over the last 34 months we have redefined how open source compliance is approached. We have built an industry standard that is seeing accelerating adoption. We have produced over 400 documents of reference material to support this standard. Our educational material has become a new baseline for how companies approach the training of their staff. Above all, as a virtual-first community, we are positioned to provide a pillar that visibly, effectively guides the global expanse of companies adopting, developing and deploying open source in products and services.
OpenChain is an ambitious project that has experienced exceptional success in defining what constitutes a quality open source compliance program. We are equally successful in fostering exceptional local and global communities that redefine how organizations collaborate on shared solutions. In our space, and in the wider open source community, there has never been a better time to help reduce friction and help people work together.
Let’s take this forward.