Access and Feeds

Open Source: Quality, Flexibility and Cost

By Dick Weisinger

Open Source has matured to the point where it is now used to some extent in every company.  98 percent of respondents to a survey said that their organizations make use of Open Source in some way.  The people answering the survey were IT professionals in areas like network operations, server management and engineering.  Many of the results echo that of another recent survey taken on Open Source software sponsored by Accenture.

Here are some of the other results from the survey:

  • Open Source software is getting easier to use.  In the most recent survey, 71 percent said that installing Open Source souftware is easier to install than proprietary software.  That number has been steadily increasing.  In 2006, just 26 percent thought that Open Source was easier to install.  It was 38 percent in 2007, and 48 percent in 2008.
  • The compelling reasons cited for using Open Source included Flexibility at 73.9 percent and Cost Savings at 71 percent.
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best, Open Source users indicated an average level of satisfaction between 7 and 8.
  • Nearly 40 percent of the respondents cited the economy as a main driver into leading them to consider and then adopt Open Source.
  • 50 percent of the respondents said that they were also using some form of cloud computing which included hosted applications, public cloud services like Amazon, or hosted storage.
  • Top IT management priorities in 2010 are monitoring, configuration management, patching, provisioning and security.

On the negative side, the biggest complaint that users have with Open Source is poor support and lack of good documentation.

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