Open source means cost savings

We’ve just published our latest CAOS special report, ‘Climate Change -User perspectives on the impact of economic conditions on open source software adoption.’ The report is based on our recent survey findings among more than 1,700 open source software customers and users, and also offers guidance on calculating cost savings from open source software.

Those open source software customers and end users, which range from large enterprises to SMBs in a variety of industries and geographies, provided further reinforcement to the idea that difficult economic conditions can be good for open source software and its vendors. While we began examining this trend as it began at the end of last year, our November 2009 survey provided confirmation from customers that economic conditions are indeed driving many of their decisions in favor of open source software. When asked whether the current economic climate had impacted their companies’ attitude toward open source, 46.5% said they were more inclined to open source. Another 47.7% reported no change in attitude from the economy, but only 2.5% were less likely to adopt open source given current conditions. Another 3.4% were less likely to adopt any software because of the current economic climate (proprietary or open source).

What also stands out from the survey is the fact that open source software seems to be living up to its reputation as a cost-savings mechanism, meeting or exceeding cost savings expectations almost 90% of the time. Fewer than 5% of our respondents reported that open source software did not meet their cost-savings expectations.

While cost remains the key benefit for organizations deciding on open source software, flexibility emerges as the primary benefit after open source software has been adopted, according to our survey. Cost remains a key benefit, of course, but we also see other factors, such as reliability, performance and speed cited by survey respondents. Vendor lock-in, or avoiding it, is also a perceived benefit of open source software, but this is apparently becoming less important to customers, particularly after adoption.

The report delves more deeply into these and other trends, including both how customers and end users view the benefits of open source software, and how to effectively calculate potential cost savings from open source.

The full Climate Change report, including detailed analysis of the survey results and advice on cost analysis for open source software, is available now. Meanwhile a free version containing only the survey results is also available for download (registration required).

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41 comments ↓

#1 Twitter Trackbacks for 451 CAOS Theory » Open source means cost savings [the451group.com] on Topsy.com on 12.14.09 at 4:39 am

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#5 Virtually Speaking mobile edition on 12.14.09 at 7:19 am

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#8 Links 16/12/2009: Red Hat Settles, Upgraded | Boycott Novell on 12.16.09 at 5:58 am

[…] Open source means cost savings We’ve just published our latest CAOS special report, ‘Climate Change -User perspectives on the impact of economic conditions on open source software adoption.’ The report is based on our recent survey findings among more than 1,700 open source software customers and users, and also offers guidance on calculating cost savings from open source software. […]

#9 451 CAOS Theory » Seasons Greetings from 451 Group & CAOS on 12.28.09 at 12:31 pm

[…] Adoption. The report considers our survey of open source software customers and end users and indicates cost savings, as well as flexibility, continue to drive open source in the enterprise. Commercial […]

#10 Two data management webinars this week — Too much information on 01.04.10 at 7:19 am

[…] be providing some data points from our recent surveys on database adoption and open source adoption while EnterpriseDB’s Larry Alston will also showcase successful enterprise deployments of […]

#11 451 CAOS Theory » Google, Gartner pick open, closed winners on 01.06.10 at 5:51 pm

[…] to expect some degree of openness from their vendors. Similarly, open source brings with it cost savings expectations, and this has forced pricing and services adjustments for all software, whether open source or […]

#12 451 CAOS Theory » Is software freedom a necessity or a distraction when it comes to consumer devices? on 01.20.10 at 5:17 am

[…] we take a look at the benefits of FOSS to end users in the enterprise sector we routinely see lower cost, increased flexibility and reduced vendor lock-in as the primary benefits. The first of […]

#13 451 CAOS Theory » VMware on open source track to cloud on 01.20.10 at 7:20 pm

[…] case of SpringSource, or service providers and other cloud computing users with Zimbra. Similar to our findings for a recent report about customer and user views on open source, VMware sees primarily cost and […]

#14 451 CAOS Theory » 451 Webinar - Cost savings and customer views of open source on 01.21.10 at 6:40 pm

[…] 26 at 10am PST/1pm EST/6pm UK — we’ll go over our survey results, which indicate cost savings, flexibility and freedom from vendor lock-in are the biggest drivers for open source. We’ll […]

#15 Will open source ever be completely free? | penlau software on 02.23.10 at 4:57 pm

[…] open source has relentlessly driven prices down while boosting performance and customer value, as detailed by The 451 Group. Even as traditional vendors have struggled with a tight economy, open-source vendors have […]

#16 Will open source ever be completely free? « 567 Technology on 02.23.10 at 8:35 pm

[…] open source has relentlessly driven prices down while boosting performance and customer value, as detailed by The 451 Group. Even as traditional vendors have struggled with a tight economy, open-source vendors have […]

#17 451 CAOS Theory » Microsoft-Amazon IP deal dusts up old ‘target Linux’ story on 02.24.10 at 1:37 pm

[…] that has largely already made its decision on Linux. For the most part and in most every case, the benefits outweigh the risks, whether they be real or perceived. Permalink | Technorati Links | Bookmark on […]

#18 451 CAOS Theory » What’s in a name? Still open source on 03.31.10 at 4:49 pm

[…] including Likewise and SpringSource. The reasoning then seems to remain the case today: the positive association of open source with cost savings and the positive connotations of an open source project in the […]

#19 451 CAOS Theory » OSBC 2010 – Age of open source enablement on 03.31.10 at 4:53 pm

[…] Augustin hit the nail on head when he told the audience that lower cost and open source’s association with lower cost tends to be the way open source software gets in the door, but once organizations […]

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[…] Brenninkmeijer van Hippo wees me op een interessante blogpost over de voordelen van open source […]

#21 451 CAOS Theory » Small business opportunity for open source gets bigger on 05.26.10 at 6:55 pm

[…] integrators, VARs, managed service providers and others are moving to include open source, and its reputation for cost savings, among their […]

#22 451 CAOS Theory » Linux Foundation highlights growth, but what versions? on 10.13.10 at 6:14 pm

[…] coverage of the drivers for and benefits of Linux. We asked more broadly about the factors driving open source software, not just Linux, but the results from both our survey at the end of last year and the […]

#23 Open Innovation: Achieving Open Source Success | Linux Articles Directory - All about Linux on 12.18.10 at 5:56 pm

[…] cost remains attractive, flexibility emerges as the primary benefit after open source has been adopted. 3 Having control of source code […]

#24 451 CAOS Theory » Big business better use open source on 12.22.10 at 3:05 pm

[…] am currently repeating a theme that I came up with when economic conditions were growing the use of open source, including paid use, mission-critical use, production use and, yes, big business use. The theme is […]

#25 451 CAOS Theory » Two webinars this week on 01.04.11 at 3:28 am

[…] be providing some data points from our recent surveys on database adoption and open source adoption while EnterpriseDB’s Larry Alston will also showcase successful enterprise deployments of […]

#26 Open Innovation: Achieving Open Source Success | Proprietary Software on 01.10.11 at 10:42 pm

[…] cost remains attractive, flexibility emerges as the primary benefit after open source has been adopted. 3 Having control of source code […]

#27 451 CAOS Theory » Channeling of open source continues on 02.09.11 at 5:48 pm

[…] awakening and why now? I believe it is a combination of two things: open source software’s association with cost savings and its significance and prominence in cloud computing. There are other factors […]

#28 Open Innovation: Achieving Open Source Success | 1 Malaysia Boy on 02.21.11 at 8:04 am

[…] cost remains attractive, flexibility emerges as the primary benefit after open source has been adopted. 3 Having control of source code […]

#29 451 CAOS Theory » The four pillars of modern IT openness on 02.24.11 at 11:26 am

[…] trends such as devops and the drivers of open source from the perspective of open source software users and customers, there’s no question open source software is the driving force of openness in today’s […]

#30 451 CAOS Theory » DMTF highlights demand for cloud license management relief on 03.01.11 at 8:19 pm

[…] first saw the prominence of license management in today’s enterprise IT when we asked in December 2009 more than 1,700 open source users and customers to rank the sources of cost […]

#31 451 CAOS Theory » The future of open source is on its way on 03.18.11 at 2:08 pm

[…] highlighted by the impact of economic conditions, which according to both previous FOOS surveys and our own survey have been a key driver of broader enterprise use of open […]

#32 Buyer & Supplier Magazine - Open Innovation: Achieving Open Source Success on 03.23.11 at 1:28 am

[…] cost remains attractive, flexibility emerges as the primary benefit after open source has been adopted. 3 Having control of source code […]

#33 451 CAOS Theory » Future of cloud survey shows significance of open source on 06.22.11 at 5:58 pm

[…] (TCO) and only 13% indicating a higher TCO in the cloud. Similar to what we have seen with the drivers of open source software, there was also an indication in the Future of Cloud Survey that other factors are […]

#34 451 CAOS Theory » Need open source policy? Ask the DoD. on 07.06.11 at 5:28 pm

[…] to adopting and using open source software — is also another indicator of the drivers, advantages and challenges of open source software, which have typically been about cost, flexibility and […]

#35 451 CAOS Theory » Contemplating innovation, openness, clouds at OSCON on 07.28.11 at 1:23 pm

[…] driving open source? Well, when we asked customers nearly two years ago, the clear, primary driver was cost. Customers and users also rated flexibility as both a top driver of open source adoption and a […]

#36 Commercial Gains Mean Growing Pains for Open Source Community | Cloud Computing Expert|Virtualization Expert|Global Outsourcing Expert|Marco Giunta on 08.05.11 at 4:01 pm

[…] driven primarily by innovation, rather than cost, flexibility or other advantages we’ve seen associated with open source software in the […]

#37 451 CAOS Theory » Economy up or down, can open source come out on top? on 08.11.11 at 2:19 pm

[…] top? Jay Lyman, August 11, 2011 @ 2:19 pm ET We’ve written about how a bad economy is indeed good for open source software. We’ve also recognized that with open source software’s maturity and place at […]

#38 Future of cloud survey shows significance of open source | Fred Blauer and Associates on 08.15.11 at 9:30 am

[…] (TCO) and only 13% indicating a higher TCO in the cloud. Similar to what we have seen with thedrivers of open source software, there was also an indication in the Future of Cloud Survey that other factors are […]

#39 Like FOSS Fog, Cloud Confusion May Not Matter | Make Money with Social Network on 09.11.12 at 9:52 am

[…] to open source software — which today is associated with cost-savings, flexibility and other advantages, cloud computing has many additional connotations. For example, cloud computing is inherently […]

#40 Like FOSS Fog, Cloud Confusion May Not Matter | Small Business News on 09.11.12 at 10:27 am

[…] to open source software — which today is associated with cost-savings, flexibility and other advantages, cloud computing has many additional connotations. For example, cloud computing is inherently […]

#41 Like FOSS Fog, Cloud Confusion May Not Matter | Techie Today on 09.11.12 at 5:38 pm

[…] to open source software — which today is associated with cost-savings, flexibility and other advantages, cloud computing has many additional connotations. For example, cloud computing is inherently […]