Flexibility Drives Open Source Adoption

Michael Vizard


One of the myths about open source software is that IT organizations adopt it because it's free. But it turns out that while cost is definitely a factor - especially in these tough economic times - the bigger issue is flexibility.

There's a lot of administrative overhead associated with testing and deploying proprietary software in the enterprise. In contrast, open source software can generally be downloaded and tested by virtually any member of the IT staff without a whole lot of interaction with vendor salespeople and internal purchasing departments.

In fact, a new survey of over 500 IT professionals conducted by Zenoss, a provider of open source systems management software, found that 66.1 percent of the respondents said they use open source whenever possible. But what's interesting about these results is that over 70 percent cited flexibility as a primary reason for using open source, which narrowly edged out lower costs.

At the same time, however, over 70 percent said that the current state of the economy played no role in influencing their interest in open source technologies.

According to Mark Hinkle, vice president of community for Zenoss, IT organizations are increasingly valuing the fact that they can adopt open source technologies on their own terms. Interestingly enough, the Zenoss survey also found that the IT people surveyed still value the support they get from vendors, the maturity of proprietary software and the features they get in those products.

Ultimately, while the Zenoss survey shows that mainstream adoption of open source software is already here, it doesn't appear that the adoption of open source technologies necessarily means that proprietary technologies are going away altogether. But It does mean that proprietary software needs to be not only that much better, but a lot simpler to initially test and acquire as well.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Aug 23, 2010 5:08 PM josephmartins josephmartins  says:
Is open source software really simpler to test and acquire? It's a serious question and I'm betting the answer is no, it's about the same cost if not worse as system complexity increases. The first thing we must do is split open source into two categories: simple standalone apps (e.g. office applications, audio/video/image editing, etc.) and everything else (e.g. ECM, CRM, BI, BPM etc.). We've written about the topic on more than one occasion and it has become crystal clear to us that the benefits of open source diminish as application and overall system complexity increases. Reply
Aug 27, 2010 4:08 PM Anonymous Anonymous  says:
It simply depends on the people you have in place to handle the systems. If you have people working for you that know how to do it you will save money. If you have to outsource it or hire people it won't. I have seen open source PBX systems work wonderfully and save companies a bundle. I have also seen them cost a ton and never work the way the user needed. It all comes down to staff knowledge and the robustness of the software being used. Reply
Jul 20, 2011 9:07 AM Oliver35Corinne Oliver35Corinne  says:
Set your life time more simple take the credit loans and all you want. Reply
Feb 29, 2012 7:02 AM college thesis college thesis  says:
thanks for the link buddy I like it www.zenoss.com I'll bookmark it for my future needs Reply

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