Survey Shows More Than 40% Using Open Source

Nearly 43 percent of more than 600 IT and business professionals from various industries are already using open source software, according to a 2007 Open Source Software Survey conducted by Actuate Corp.

The survey queried professionals in North America, the United Kingdom and Germany. It sought to measure their awareness and adoption of open source technologies, with a specific focus on open source business intelligence (BI) systems.

The survey also showed that 23.6 percent of respondents were currently using open source BI and that 31.2 percent were "very likely" to evaluate using it.

The findings represent "a huge shift from just a few years ago," according to Mark Madsen, president of Third Nature Inc. and faculty member at TDWI.

"These survey results show that open source software is moving into the mainstream and that open source is rising in influence," Madsen said in a prepared statement. "Half the organizations surveyed stated that open source is either the preferred option or is explicitly considered in the software procurement process."

Other key findings from Actuate's survey:

  • Among financial services professionals (192 respondents), 49 percent already use open source and 29.8 percent are already using open source BI.
  • Of those surveyed, 50.5 percent noted open source as their preferred software option, or they considered it an option when buying. That said, 12.5 percent have a "no open source" software policy.
  • The benefit that open source respondents (60.6 percent) cited most was the absence of licensing fees. Respondents also cited vendor independence (48.4 percent), flexibility (45.7 percent), source code access (44.7 percent), open platform-based software (38.8 percent), freedom from Microsoft (35.6 percent) and standards-based technology (34.0 percent).
  • The survey showed that 29.8 percent are already using open source BI, with 32.3 percent likely or very likely to consider it.
  • Respondents said strikes against adopting open source included a lack of long-term support (52.7 percent), lack of long-term maintenance (48.9 percent), lack of on-staff implementation skills (38.3 percent), incompatibility with current apps (35.1 percent), no real-world track record (30.9 percent) and the inability to provide indemnification (30.3 percent).

The survey's complete results should be available from Actuate by month's end. Actuate is a provider of open source reporting and performance management solutions for the enterprise.

About the Author

David Kopf is a freelance technology writer and marketing consultant, and can be reached at [email protected].