Open Source Continues Its Infiltration of the Enterprise
Early last year, when we covered Northbridge Venture Partners' 2009 Future of Open Source survey, there were a number of surprising predictions made by open source movers and shakers. A staggering 96 percent of respondents said that the economic downturn was having a positive effect on open source adoption and would continue to do so. Around the same time that that survey arrived, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst predicted that nearly all significant software platforms and applications would at least have open source components. Now, there are signs that both of those sentiments are playing out just as Whitehurst and the survey respondents said they would.
A recent survey by Accenture found several signs that, particularly in the enterprise, open source is on a tear. Specifically, "more than two-thirds of organizations (69 percent) anticipate increased investment [in open source] in 2010, with more than a third (38 percent) expecting to migrate mission-critical software to open source in the next twelve months."
The survey, which included 300 large organizations in both the private and public sectors, found that half of the respondents are fully committed to open source in their businesses. Paul Daugherty, chief technology architect at Accenture, said:
"What we are seeing is the coming of age of open source. Through both our research and our work with clients, we are seeing an increase in demand for open source based on quality, reliability and speed, not just cost savings. This is a significant change from just two years ago when uptake was driven mainly by cost savings. We can expect to see this trend develop as open source continues to evolve and address even more business critical functions."
That's true, and in addition to dedicated open source platforms and applications, even proprietary ones will inherit open source components. As for the Accenture data, as Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols notes, Accenture has "no particular love for FOSS," and the data from the company's survey lines with predictions from several informed sources.
Let's face it, open source has long since left the "code-warrirors only" geek barn and is already finding acceptance in businesses large and small. Look for that trend to grow.