Hurdles Aside, Open Source Wins Converts 2

Despite deployment hurdles and compatibility issues, open- source products are expected to continue to appeal to businesses.
Open-source products are an ideal answer for companies seeking to increase IT efficiency without incurring substantial overhead costs. Low cost of ownership and no licensing fees are the main drivers behind growing acceptance, and advocates contend that using open source provides more opportunities for innovation. That's according to an InformationWeek Research study that examines demand for open-source architecture.

Some 90% of the study's 281 sites supporting open-source products use Linux to some extent. A majority of adopters also say the operating system is fulfilling deployment expectations; 64% of companies report being extremely satisfied and 34% somewhat. Only 2% say Linux is unsatisfactory.

Deployment Hurdles, bar chartLinux isn't without problems. A third of companies using Linux to run server operations report software incompatibilities and two in five companies running Linux on PCs report incompatibilities. Lack of internal expertise, poor documentation, and inadequate technical support are other frequently reported issues. Difficulties are more commonplace in server than in PC support.

The operating system is expected to continue to win converts. Linux-related spending is predicted to reach $1.8 billion by 2007, compared with the $393 million spent by the end of 2003.

How does your company expect to use Linux in the coming six months and what concerns, if any, are there about its use? Share your strategies with InformationWeek's open-source reporter, Larry Greenemeier, at [email protected].

Helen D'Antoni
Senior Editor, Research
[email protected]

Support Channels, pie chartSupport Channels

How does your company obtain Linux development and support expertise?

Who are managers turning to when they need Linux development and support expertise? Most of the time, they're tapping expertise available among their own IT workforce. Of the 290 companies using Linux in InformationWeek Research's study, seven in 10 say that support and development are handled in house, while 13% provide employee training if internal expertise is lacking. Only 2% report that they depend solely on third-party services; another 14% tap a combination of in-house and third-party sources to get the job done.