As the embodiment of collective intelligence, open source development is an important driver of innovation for Societe Generale's information systems. It is a strategic commitment that has already produced results, as 80% of the Group's development technologies are open source. Use, Contribute and Attract: learn about the three components of Societe Generale's open source strategy.
“This approach was initiated by the company's developers, who wanted to share practices, standards and technology building blocks to help them innovate faster,” explains Group IT Architect David Fiou in his article “Open Source First!”. Open Source is one of this transformation’s factors of success, providing the Bank with a more open world, a powerful vehicle of technological innovation (cloud, machine learning…) and attractiveness, as well as a reduced dependence on traditional publishers.
Integrated with the Group's digital transformation strategy, the open source approach is centred on three components:
- USE: prioritising open source technologies as an alternative to publishers’ products, whenever appropriate.
- CONTRIBUTE: spotlighting the inherent community-based nature of open source development.
- ATTRACT: our commitment to attracting technology leaders by offering a modern and innovative IT environment.
According to research, “Open Source solutions are no more and no less secure than traditional solutions,” David Fiou explains. “They therefore require the same vigilance as proprietary products.” Whether or not the technology is open source, cybersecurity remains a crucial issue for Societe Generale.
Alain Voiment Deputy CTO and sponsor of the open source strategy for Societe Generale Group
Open Source is a powerful tool to innovate, accelerate our digital transformation and attract talented staff. By 2020, we are aiming to have 80% of our servers on the Cloud and 30% of our databases Open Source.
Project of a unique and universal source code archive
Inria, the French National Institute for computer science and applied mathematics, launched the Software Heritage project in June 2016 to collect, organise, preserve and share all software that is publicly available in source code form around the world. Societe Generale is sponsoring this project which reflects the Group’s ambitious open source strategy - a powerful driver of innovation and agility to enhance customer service.
Open source first!
In the digital era, Open Source development takes on strategic importance and enables us to streamline our development processes so that we can achieve continuous delivery. In concrete terms, we have created “Fast-IT” teams within a Group entity whose job is to create and launch applications in a span of less than one month for the fastest projects. To achieve such levels of agility, they use Open Source technology.
Free software: a springboard for digital technology in Africa?
"Free software that is accessible and open to all without restriction will allow us to rapidly prototype business ideas based on components of open and modifiable source codes. Young Africans have already created applications from scratch using free software, and this should inspire us and inspire other young people in Guinea to take action."
Liberating creativity through collective and open innovation
The digital era is evolving the Bank's approach to innovation. Moving from a 'product-driven' model to a relationship-focused one grounded in the customer experience, from innovation in isolation to open innovation made possible by increased connectivity between communities, both within the company and in the company's wider ecosystem.