Forrester Survey Points to Enterprise Open Source Concerns

by Ostatic Staff - Jun. 10, 2008

Forrester Research has just released its findings in its survey of enterprise and SMB open source usage. The survey asked questions of hundreds of North American and European technology decision makers, and the results seem to point to some long-standing challenges for the open source community. Quite a few of the decision makers expressed no interest or have no plans to adopt open source software, and security was cited as the main concern about adopting open source. Here are the details.

Forrester's research revealed the following sentiments among North American and European decision makers:

  • Seventy percent of decision-makers responded that they don't have interest or have no plans to adopt open source software;
  • Only 23 percent of respondents said expanding their use of open source software was a priority;
  • Security is the main concern around adopting open source software. Eighty-eight percent of respondents said it was an important or very important concern.

Despite the generally gloomy trends seen in the bullet points above, Forrester's Jeffrey Hammond, the lead analyst on the study, points out that there is a disconnect between the data and what Forrester has been hearing about adoption. One of the reasons he pointed out is decision makers often aren't aware of their use of open source wrapped in commercial products from IBM, Novell, and Sun.

The findings below are snapshots from the study. The percentages of decision makers immediately below rated the cited issues as "very important" in the survey, with security as the top concern, and a set of conclusions is below that. Clearly, if these results are representative of most decision makers, there is work to be done evangelizing open source software, and convincing managers that it is secure.