Not all open source is equal. With nearly two decades spent investing in open source, we’ve learned how to spot what projects and communities are worth investing in — and how to invest effectively and securely.

IBM partners with most of the major open source communities that drive today’s businesses. In communities like Linux, Java, Hyperledger, Kubernetes, CNCF, Node.js and more, our developers are collaborators and committers, insisting on open governance, contributing code, helping with licensing, and pushing the technology forward.

How we choose where to invest

In our two decades of contributing to open source, we’ve learned that the communities with open governance and an inclusive philosophy will attract the largest ecosystems and markets. So, before we engage with an open source project or community, we make sure it adheres to these five attributes that make a successful project:

  • Responsible licensing: We need to understand the open source license that is associated with the technology.
  • Accessible commit process: We look to ensure that there is a clearly defined process for making contributions that welcome outside contributors.
  • Diverse ecosystem: We confirm that there are multiple vendors and ISVs that are delivering offerings based on the technology.
  • Participative community: There needs to be a clear process for contributors to grow their technical eminence in a community that is welcoming, inclusive and respectful.
  • Open governance: We evaluate the governance model to determine whether it is truly open.

Key projects and community involvement

We have invested close to $1 billion and thousands of open source development, marketing, and evangelism resources to open source projects. We initiated many of these projects and work to help them achieve success.


Check out some of our key partnerships. Learn how we’ve invested in these projects and communities and what we think about their future.