Open Source Software in Financial Services

What do you think of when you hear the term, open source software (OSS)? Do you think of the 1995 cult classic, Hackers starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Lee Miller rollerblading around New York City to The Prodigy’s Voodoo People?

Do you perhaps think of the Linux operating system and say to yourself, “that’s too complicated, I use Windows”?

In this article, we aim to clear up any misconceptions about open source. We also want to explain why opting for solutions built on open source frameworks, particularly in financial services, enables your company’s infrastructure to become more progressive, flexible and robust.

And, indeed, why we fully embrace open source practices in developing our product offerings here at GECKO Governance.

What is open source?

Open source software development is the practice of releasing or distributing the source code of an application for reuse under a public license. Software developers can use the code to learn from or build on, and release new applications.

A commonly used type of license is a ‘dual license’, such as GPL/MIT. Open source facilitates both maintaining proprietary ownership or the releasing of your application code publicly, and the choice of license should be made accordingly.

Open source software projects are able to take advantage of a global pool of software development talent. Developers distributed around the world can collaborate on a wide variety of open source projects.

They send their code updates to be reviewed by other developers who check code quality and decide if the change will be added to the project. Open source projects are generally maintained by a large, core set of developers who are long term contributors.

I’m sure you can appreciate the importance of version control tools!

Open source goes mainstream

As you can imagine, open source has become synonymous with innovation and one particular initiative leading the way in financial services is The FinTech Open Source Foundation, or FINOS.

The main aim of this community is to develop open source software solutions and best practice standards for financial services. A quick search online will show you that top tier financial institutions are getting onboard.

The global financial services industry is in need of rapid innovation. And while a lot of progress has been made, we see a lot more still to come.

Open Finance and Open RegTech are just two examples of where industry trends are going. While these don’t necessarily fall under the umbrella of open source software development, some core principles do overlap; those being, collaboration and transparency.

If recent major acquisitions in the space are anything to go by, top tech companies also see the value in open source.

At GECKO Governance, we strongly believe in the skill and integrity of the open source community. In fact, from the beginning, our main product offering has been built on a leading open source software framework. We take great pride in building software that is secure, robust, scalable and performant.

If you wish to speak to a member of our team about your specific business needs and goals, please get in touch — hello@geckogovernance.com

Author — Adam Matthews, Product Manager at GECKO Governance

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