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).