Results Are In for Future of Open Source Survey

by Ostatic Staff - Mar. 25, 2009

In conjunction with the recent series of posts we did on the future of open source, we also asked OStatic readers to participate in Northbridge Venture Partners' 2009 Future of Open Source survey. At this week's Open Source Business Conference in San Francisco, the results of the survey were released, and you can watch an interesting slideshow on the results here. Over 435 people responded to the survey, including many open source developers. Here are some thoughts on the findings.

When asked if the economic downturn is having a good or bad effect on open source, a whopping 96 percent of survey respondents answered "good." That was up from 81 percent in last year's survey.

Respondents also weighed in what they see as key barriers to open source adoption in business. "Unfamiliarity with open source solutions," was cited as the top barrier, and "lack of internal technical skills," was cited second. We agree with the "unfamiliarity" citation, and part of OStatic's mission is to correct that problem.

When asked which open source product categories are most likely to be disruptive in the next five years, 52 percent said databases, 36 percent said operating systems, and, surprisingly, 28 percent said Business Intelligence software. On the flip-side, office productivity applications were cited as having the least room for disruption, followed by security and ERP/CRM applications. Hmm, I'm not sure OpenOffice won't disrupt office productivity application usage over the next five years.

Respondents to the survey cited Ingres, Red Hat and Alfresco as top open source companies to watch. When asked if growing open source usage is resulting in increased application complexity, 58 percent said it introduced more complexity, 25 percent said less complexity, and 17 percent said no more or less.

Among top strategies that open source companies can use for commercial success, subscription-based technical support was rated the best strategy, while professional services and consulting were rated second. That bodes well for Red Hat, Acquia, and other several other companies.

In response to which trends are having the greatest impact on commercial open source players, software-as-a-service was rated highest, followed by virtualization. Clearly, the impact of applications going online is being felt.

You can find many more notable findings in the slideshow