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Sonatype 2017 State of the Software Supply Chain Report Reveals DevOps Practices Reduce Use of Defective Open Source Components by 63 Percent

Sonatype, the leader in software supply chain automation, today announced the release of its third annual State of the Software Supply Chain Report. This year’s report highlights risks lurking within open source software components and quantifies the empirical benefits of actively managing software supply chain hygiene.

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Software Supply Chains by the Numbers (Graphic: Business Wire)

Software Supply Chains by the Numbers (Graphic: Business Wire)

Organizations that are actively managing the quality of open source components flowing into production applications are realizing a 28 percent improvement in developer productivity, a 30 percent reduction in overall development costs, and a 48 percent increase in application quality. Furthermore, analysis of more than 17,000 applications reveals that applications built by teams utilizing automated governance tools reduced the percentage of defective components by 63%.

Conversely, organizations failing to manage software supply chains are unwittingly releasing vulnerable applications into production, wasting thousands of hours on rework and bug fixes, and facing increased liability due to gross negligence.

Additional key findings of the 2017 State of the Software Supply Chain report include:

Consumption of open source components is growing on a massive scale

  • Year-over-year downloads of Java components grew 68 percent (52 billion in 2016), JavaScript downloads grew 262 percent (59 billion in 2016), and demand for Docker components is expected to grow 100 percent (12 billion downloads).
  • Faced with a near infinite supply of open source components, high-functioning DevOps organizations are utilizing machine automation to govern the quality of open source components flowing through their software supply chains.

Open source component suppliers remain slow to fix vulnerabilities

  • Even when vulnerabilities are known, OSS projects are slow to remediate - if they do so at all. Only 15.8 percent of OSS projects actively fix vulnerabilities, and even then the mean time to remediation was 233 days.
  • This puts the onus on DevOps organizations to actively govern which OSS projects they work with, and which components they ultimately consume.

Number of downloaded components with known vulnerabilities is slightly decreasing

  • In 2016, the percent of Java components downloaded from the Central Repository that contained known security vulnerabilities fell to 5.5 percent (1 in 18), down from 6.1 percent the year prior.
  • Although this defect download ratio is far from perfect, there is empirical evidence that hygiene is beginning to improve with ratios declining slightly in each of the last three years.

The regulatory landscape is rapidly changing

  • In the past year in the United States, the White House, four federal agencies, and the automotive industry have released new guidelines to improve the quality, safety, and security of software supply chains.

Supporting Quotes

Wayne Jackson, CEO, Sonatype
“Companies are no longer building software applications from scratch, they are manufacturing them as fast as they can using an infinite supply of open source component parts. However, many still rely on manual and time consuming governance and security practices instead of embracing DevOps-native automation. Our research continues to show that development teams managing trusted software supply chains are dramatically improving quality and productivity.”

Mark Driver, Felix Gaehtgens, Mark O’Neill, Gartner, May 2017 report “Managing Digital Trust in the Software Development Life Cycle”
“By 2020, 50% of organizations will have suffered damage caused by failing to manage trust in their, or their partners’, software development life cycles (SDLC) – causing revenue loss of more than 15%. Application leaders responsible for modernizing application development should re-evaluate the SDLC in the form of a trusted software supply chain, with varied levels of trust.”

About the State of the Software Supply Chain Report

The 2017 State of the Software Supply Chain Report blends a broad set of public and proprietary data with expert research and analysis. This year’s report extends beyond Java data to include supply chain findings from JavaScript, NuGet, Python, and Docker ecosystems.

Additional Resources

About Sonatype

Sonatype is the leading provider of DevOps-native tools to automate modern software supply chains. As the creators of Apache Maven, the Central Repository, and Nexus Repository, Sonatype pioneered componentized software development and has a rich history of supporting open source innovation. Today, more than 120,000 organizations depend on Sonatype’s Nexus platform to govern the volume, variety, and quality of open source components flowing into modern software applications. Sonatype is privately held with investments from New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Accel Partners, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, Morgenthaler Ventures, Bay Partners and Goldman Sachs. Learn more at www.sonatype.com.

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