Open source doesn’t establish sovereignty on its own, but it certainly plays a vital role in its development. In today’s ever-evolving digital landscape, discussions about digital sovereignty have gained momentum, with open source emerging as a powerful catalyst. By offering free access to source code, open source democratizes technology, reducing reliance on tech giants and proprietary software, and empowering users to maintain control over their systems. Thanks to its transparent and collaborative nature, open source presents an unparalleled opportunity to enhance the digital sovereignty of businesses.
Openness and Mastery
In today’s digital landscape, where over 80% of the world’s applications and websites are hosted on open source web servers, and with a projected market worth of €5.9 billion in France by 2022, the legitimacy of open source software in the tech sector is unquestionable. Its popularity can be attributed to several compelling reasons.
One of the primary advantages lies in the unrestricted accessibility and modifiability of software source code. This openness empowers the open source community with in-depth insights into the software, enabling them to freely collaborate and contribute to its ongoing enhancement.
By adopting a collaborative approach, open source software undergoes continuous improvement, benefiting from the collective expertise of users and developers. This collective effort has far-reaching implications, particularly in terms of reliability and cybersecurity. Vulnerabilities and flaws are swiftly identified and addressed.
Of course, open source doesn’t always imply that the software is entirely free. Certain extensions, support services, or hosting contracts may come with associated costs if you want a positive and successful experience. However, open source empowers the companies that adopt it. Why do they choose open source? Because it allows them to have control. They can make their own contributions, fund the development of features or plugins tailored to their requirements, and most importantly, they have the freedom to deploy open source software according to their specific needs
From open source to digital sovereignity
Open source software offers more control, but does not equate to sovereignty. Instead, it provides an avenue for increased autonomy. By embracing open source solutions, businesses can break free from the grip of closed, licensed software like those offered by tech giants such as GAFAM. Many of these proprietary solutions lack sovereignty as they store and manage data in data centres located outside of Europe, predominantly in the United States. Consequently, this data becomes subject to extraterritorial laws, including the American Cloud Act.
With the flexibility of open source, companies can deploy their open source application on the infrastructure of their choice according to their legal or security constraints: a European public cloud or a private cloud in a more specific country such as Switzerland or, why not, on-premise if they manage their own infrastructure. In this way, they have sovereignty over their data. It is in this combination that the world of open source and sovereignty come together.
Choosing an open source solution that safeguards digital sovereignity
To uphold digital sovereignty in line with the European Data Protection Regulation, it’s essential to ensure that data is:
- Hosted within a data centre located in a country of the European Union.
- Compliant with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).
These measures provide assurance that the company remains compliant while hosting its own data as well as that of its users or customers. The decision regarding where to host data is of utmost importance.
In practical terms, when it comes to their open source software, companies have two primary options. They can either opt for an on-premise installation or enter into an agreement with a cloud hosting provider. The choice depends on their specific requirements related to sovereignty, security standards, and, naturally, resource consumption aligned with their corporate social responsibility (CSR) goals. By making this choice, companies also maintain their IT independence, which is a different facet of sovereignty. This independence means they are responsible for both deploying and updating their open source application.
Alternatively, for those who wish to offload the technical management aspects (such as installation, updates, capacity planning, monitoring, etc.), there’s an alternative route. They can explore “turnkey” open source solutions. In this scenario, these solutions are implemented on sovereign infrastructures by specialized service providers, often the creators or primary sponsors of the open source software.
For instance, Norwegian operator Altibox has adopted this approach. They’ve recently adopted the SOGomail solution as their messaging service, which was implemented and set up by Alinto on a European sovereign and energy-efficient infrastructure.
Join us at Open Source Experience !
For the last three years, the Open Source Experience has been a key event in France, serving as a gathering point for the free software community and open source enthusiasts. In the upcoming event on December 6th and 7th, 2023, Alinto is excited to welcome you to booth F23. We invite you to engage in discussions about open source, its various challenges, and the concept of sovereignty in this context.
Feel free to stop at to explore our solutions, including SOGo Webmail Open Source and discuss with our expert team.