Open source application adoption

Open source application adoption is on the rise, according to IDC and Forrester

I was presenting to a full house at the Pentaho Partner summit yesterday talking about open source's inflection point. Over the last nine to twelve months, we've seen a change happening, what I call the perfect storm for open source:

  • Open source software is good enough (and in some cases, better than closed)
  • The LAMP stack has been widely proven in IT
  • Cost savings of up to 90 percent on TCO
  • Global IT budgets are down by 10 percent

The amazing thing to me has been the reaction from closed source companies: They've raised their prices.

While it might makes sense for companies to maximize revenues in the short term, I think the end result will be an acceleration of the adoption of open source. After all, making sure your vendor knows you're using some open source is a good way to keep prices in check.

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Not surprisingly, all the latest reports from Gartner, Forrester, and IDC show that open source adoption is continuing to grow. And no surprise, even Gartner is confirming that yes, you can save money with open source.

Most of the stats out there focus on adoption of the core infrastructure (Linux, MySQL, JBoss, Glassfish) but since I was presenting to Pentaho's partners, I thought it would be good to show some data on application adoption. While there are fewer sources of good information in that area, the cost savings are just as significant. IDC reports that 40 percent of those surveyed plan to increase their adoption of open source applications, with 40 percent planning to maintain their current level.

There's also a good study by Forrester (sponsored by Bull) showing that more than 50 percent surveyed have already adopted or plan to adopt within the next 12 months open source content management, CRM, ERP, and business intelligence solutions. The graphic is a bit fuzzy, but check out the full report.

forrester_app_adoption.JPG
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