Survey: Economy Pushing Users to Open Source

Results of a recent poll show that the stagnant economy may be leading more organizations to adopt open-source software to save on licensing fees, according ot the Open Solutions Alliance. Customers also are concerned about interoperability between open-source software and Microsoft Windows.

In the first annual survey of its membership and other open-source software and services companies, the OSA (Open Solutions Alliance) found that the stagnant economy may be helping to push open-source adoption.

In a survey of more than 100 of its member organizations, the OSA found that 83 percent said they expect to see a year-over-year increase in revenue in 2008 from open-source related software and services.

About 78 percent reported that the affordable price of open-source software is motivating their customers.

"We see that the market for commercial open-source software and services is growing and growing fast. And I see the economy contributing to that because of the cost," Dominic Sartorio, senior director of product management for SpikeSource and president of the OSA, told eWEEK.

Sartorio said the survey also showed that open-source companies are serious about collaboration. Nearly all respondents-97 percent-said they have active partnerships with other open-source software and services companies. In addition, the average survey participant had 10 such partnerships, he said.

"We knew that collaboration was important to open-source companies, but this statistic was surprising," he said.

The survey also showed that nearly 85 percent of the companies polled said they sell open-source products or services that run on Microsoft Windows or otherwise interoperate with Microsoft products.

"Microsoft is an important partner to numerous open-source companies and will continue to be more so moving forward," said Anthony Gold, vice president and general manager for the open-source business at Unisys and an OSA board member. "Enterprises need to maximize their IT resources and many realize that a hybrid Microsoft open-source environment can be the best option for their requirements."

The OSA's Open-Source Market Survey, conducted in late June, covered a number of topics of interest to the open-source community. Other key findings include that most open-source companies surveyed-85 percent-have operations outside the United States, and of those, 58 percent say they see more widespread open source-adoption outside the United States.

Also, 72 percent of respondents said software-as-a-service is an important part of their business strategy.

Meanwhile, 56 percent of survey participants said their customers were concerned about interoperability between open-source applications, and 79 percent said their customers were concerned about interoperability between open-source and proprietary solutions.

The OSA released the findings of its survey at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention in July. For the full survey report, go to the Open Solutions Alliance Web site here.