Open-Source Software Gives Competitive Advantage: Gartner Survey


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While reducing costs remains a primary factor for adopting open-source software, businesses are increasingly seeing it as a way to gain a competitive advantage, according to a new Gartner survey.

Companies are increasingly adopting open-source software as a way to gain competitive advantage rather than just a cost-savings measure, according to the results of a Gartner survey released Feb. 8.

The survey of 547 companies in 11 countries conducted between July and August 2010 found that more than half of the IT executives said they are using open source in both non-mission-critical and mission-critical environments.

Gaining a competitive advantage is a “significant reason” for selecting an open-source product, said Laurie Wurster, research director at Gartner. More organizations consider open source as “having much greater value than simply getting something for free,” she said.

The use of open source is pretty widespread within these organizations. Nearly 46 percent of organizations have deployed open-source applications for specific departments and projects and 22 percent of the surveyed businesses use open source consistently across all departments, Gartner said. About 21 percent of the executives said they were evaluating open-source products, according to the report.

Open-source software has long been used for basic infrastructure, but organizations are now using it to build better software to support core business activities, such as data management and integration, application development, business process improvement, security, compliance, data center modernization, and virtualization, Gartner said.

Nearly a quarter of respondents, 24 percent, said open-source adoption was part of a strategic business decision, while 31 percent said it is part of the company’s IT strategy, the report found. Other reasons for selecting open-source programs included the maturity of applications and total cost of ownership, according to the report.

While lower cost of ownership remained a major factor, at 29 percent, . . . . . . . Read More

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