Open source software proving popular

More and more companies are considering a move to open source software in a bid to cut the total cost of IT ownership, according to new research carried out by Trend Consulting and commissioned by OpenForum Europe, an open source lobby group.

The survey found that one in five UK companies are now considering adopting open source software (OSS) as part of a total cost of ownership (TCO) reduction strategy, up from 7% of companies last year. However, the actual number of companies using OSS is largely unchanged from last year.

Improving the efficiency of internal processes is still seen as the primary way of bringing down costs, but addressing software licence issues is now the second most important area of focus, according to the survey. “What we are seeing is greater maturity from business in assessing the potential benefits of OSS, and not limiting it to just reduction in software licensing costs,” said Mauro Mortali, Director of Trend Consulting. For example, more than two-fifths of companies said they were looking at OSS as a way of avoiding proprietary lock-in.

Part of the reason for the increased interest in OSS is that the level of confidence in the technology has risen considerably. Nearly half of respondents said they now have greater confidence in OSS, while only 2% said they felt less confident. In particular, companies said they feel more confident about the security of OSS, but concerns remain regarding availability of development and support personnel. Respondents also cited worries over the cost of integration and retraining.


Strategies for reducing TCO
Source:Trend Consulting

  • Trend Consulting’s research is backed up findings from the Meta Group, which says that the open source software model continues to gain mind share among its clients. However, it warns that lower-cost options in terms of software licence often have higher management costs, thus eliminating any savings. It advises organisations to develop guidelines and standards for the use of open source software and says that if users want to maximise cost savings then they should strongly consider rationalising open source software infrastructure patterns. Most importantly, it says, there must be a method for controlling access to and proliferation of open source software without review.


    CIO attitude towards OSS
    Source: Trend Consulting

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    Ben Rossi

    Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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