Gartner Survey Reveals More than Half of Respondents Have Adopted Open-Source Software Solutions as Part of IT Strategy
Lower Cost of Ownership Continues to Be a Major Driver, but Respondents Are Increasingly Looking to OSS to Provide Competitive Advantage
Gartner conducted a primary research survey of 547 IT leaders in organisations in 11 countries from July 2010 through August 2010. The goal was to determine current and future OSS adoption and usage habits.
"Gaining a competitive advantage has emerged as a significant reason for adopting an OSS solution, suggesting that users are beginning to look at OSS differently - if they can customise the code to make it unique to their company, they have created a competitive advantage," said Laurie Wurster, research director at Gartner.
"As external service providers emerge to support commercial offerings, OSS is and will continue to be used in both non-mission-critical and mission-critical environments," Ms Wurster said. "With greater in-depth understanding and access to the necessary skill sets, end-user organisations will continue to find new deployment of OSS. Although a search for reducing costs by adopting OSS continues to be a major driver, with this survey we see more respondents looking at OSS as having much-greater value than simply getting something for free."
Gartner's survey indicated that just over one in every five responding organisations (22 per cent) was adopting OSS consistently in all departments of the company. However, a much-higher number of respondents (46 per cent) used OSS in specific departments and projects. In addition, 21 per cent of respondents revealed that they were in the process of evaluating the advantages of OSS usage.
The top corporatewide Gartner-defined key initiatives supported by the use of OSS were: data management and integration; and application development, integration, architecture, governance and/or overhaul. Other key initiatives supported by OSS were business process improvement or re-engineering; security, risk and/or compliance; data centre modernisation and consolidation; and virtualisation.
"Based on these results, we see that OSS components and building blocks are utilised together with internally developed software to augment and enhance existing systems through integration and automation, as well as to improve business efficiencies and security," said Bob Igou, research director at Gartner.
With each Gartner OSS survey taken in the past five years, the amount of OSS that makes up responding organisations' portfolio has increased, from less than 10 per cent five years ago to more than an expected 30 per cent within the next 18 months. In that same period, the rate of proprietary software has decreased at about the same rate as OSS usage has increased. However, internally developed software has also increased, suggesting that OSS is used most often in conjunction with internally built software rather than as a complete replacement for proprietary software.
Additional information is available in the Gartner report 'Survey Analysis: Overview of Preferences and Practices in the Adoption and Usage of Open-Source Software.' The report is available on Gartner's website at http://www.gartner.com/....
Gartner UK Ltd
Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world's leading information technology research and advisory company. Gartner delivers the technology-related insight necessary for its clients to make the right decisions, every day. From CIOs and senior IT leaders in corporations and government agencies, to business leaders in high-tech and telecom enterprises and professional services firms, to technology investors, Gartner is the valuable partner to 60,000 clients in 11,000 distinct organizations. Through the resources of Gartner Research, Gartner Executive Programs, Gartner Consulting and Gartner Events, Gartner works with every client to research, analyze and interpret the business of IT within the context of their individual role. Founded in 1979, Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.A., and has 4,400 associates, including 1,200 research analysts and consultants, and clients in 85 countries. For more information, visit www.gartner.com.