Forrester analyst Jeffrey Hammond's LinuxCon keynote kicked off with the announcement that open source had crossed the IT adoption chasm. Hammond's data, drawn from five Forrester, Eclipse Foundation, and "Dr. Dobbs" surveys over the past two years, showed that nearly 80 percent of organizations are using open source software in IT development projects.
The survey results also found that IT executives were much more pragmatic about increasing open source usage and that software developers -- who tend to favor open source usage -- are increasingly important to product selection decisions. Thus, there's a potential for a collision between the business' mentality of "use what's most appropriate," and developers' mentality of "we want open source everywhere possible."
Expanding open source usage isn't a top priority
Yet when IT executives were asked, "How important are each of the following business goals to your internal IT organization when making software decisions?" their responses were lukewarm. In the 2009 survey, 47 percent of IT decisionmakers ranked it 1 or 2 (out of 5), implying that expanding the usage of open source is not a business goal for their organization when making software decisions. In 2008, 37 percent of decisionmakers ranked open source as a software selection criterion as 1 or 2, indicating the use of open source had become a less-important goal. Similarly, the percentage of decisionmakers who thought the use of open source was an important software selection criteria fell from 9 to 8 percent in that period.