A new study by Optaros Inc, a consulting and systems integration firm, provides solid data on the momentum behind open source. You can see a copy of the study, published Dec. 19 under a Creative Commons license, here.A few of the keys points:
- 87% of the 512 companies surveyed are using open source software. All of the 156 companies with at least $50 million in annual revenue were using open source.
- Companies and government institutions use open source for three primary reasons: to reduce IT costs, deliver systems faster, and make systems more secure.
- In 2004, open source software saved large companies (with annual revenue of over $1 billion) an average of $3.3 million. Medium-sized companies (between $50 million and $1 billion in annual revenue) saved an average $1.1 million.
- More and more companies are using open source software for business applications.
- Once organizations start using open source software, their usage increases.
According to the study, the four most significant barriers to adoption remain:
- executives lacking knowledge about the benefits of open source and harboring fears about quality and support;
- legal and licensing issues;
- corporate cost allocation policies that dont provide incentives to business functions to reduce the cost of commercial software;
- the difficulty of procuring open source systems that will be supported after installation.
The community, including Novell, is actively working to eliminate these remaining concerns around open source.