According to a recent IDC study, the market for open-source software has been accelerated by both the slow economy and increased acceptance from enterprise customers.
The IDC study, "Worldwide Open Source Software 2009-2013 Forecast," showed that worldwide revenue from open-source software (OSS) will grow at a 22.4 percent rate to reach $8.1 billion by 2013. This forecast is considerably higher than 2008 for three reasons, IDC said. One was that this study included more open-source projects than last year's. Another reason was that open-source software has had a much higher level of acceptance over the past 12 months than previously expected. And the third reason was the economy. IDC said the recession helped to spur the uptake and use of open-source software in the closing months of 2008.
Regarding the greater acceptance of open source, IDC said with large software vendors such as IBM, Sun, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Oracle making significant amounts of revenue from their activities with and support of OSS, more enterprise customers become more accepting of open-source software. This has greatly aided mainstream adoption and acceptance of OSS.
"The open-source software market has seen a strong boost from the current economic crisis," said Michael Fauscette, group vice president of Software Business Solutions at IDC, in a statement. "OSS is increasingly a part of the enterprise software strategy of leading businesses and is seeing mainstream adoption at a strong pace. As the overall software industry continues to consolidate, it will be key for OSS vendors to reach scale if they plan to continue as a stand-alone business."
In addition, the IDC study indicated that more vendors are beginning to leverage OSS to enhance their competitive advantage and this should help to increase the adoption of OSS and overall growth for vendors. The study also showed that hybrid business models are increasing, with closed-source vendors offering more OSS solutions, on-premises software vendors offering SAAS (software-as-a-service), SAAS vendors offering on-premises versions, and OSS vendors offering both open-source and proprietary solutions.