The Best IT Vendor of All? Red Hat

It's not just for its Linux; Red Hat offers the kind of support that businesses want from any IT company.

For the fifth year, CIO Insight polled IT executives on how well their major vendors deliver business value, reliability and quality. This years winner? The No. 1 vendor? None other than Linux distributor Red Hat.

Perhaps even more impressive than Red Hat beating such name brand companies as Google and Hewlett-Packard was that Red Hat also earned a remarkable 97 percent loyalty rating. In other words, 97 percent of Red Hats customers plan on continuing to do business with Red Hat in the future. Oracle, which is doing its best to snatch Red Hats business away from it with its Oracle Unbreakable Linux, should keep well in mind.

How does Red Hat win the hearts and minds of its corporate customers? A close look at how IT executives evaluated Red Hat and the other vendors shows us that where Red Hat really stood out above the rest was in how its products met expectations for lowering costs and meeting commitments on time and on budget.

There have been endless debates over Linux vs. Windows TCO (total cost of ownership). Some studies have claimed to be objective, but are based on Microsoft partners reporting. Other studies have found that cost really isnt that big of an issue in operating system decisions. This may come as quite a surprise to CIOs and CFOs filing IT budgets for 2008.

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