UK businesses push open source adoption

Nearly half (43 per cent) of UK businesses are actively using open source software, according to a new poll released today.

This steady, consistent growth puts the UK only second behind Germany, where 51 per cent of businesses are using open source software, placing Europe collectively ahead of the US in terms of adoption.

The third annual survey of some 1,000 UK, German, French and US companies put France third in terms of adoption, with 42 per cent actively using open source systems, trailed by 40 per cent in the US.

The Actuate research carried out by Survey Interactive also found a higher proportion of UK respondents believed the benefits of open source software outweigh the inhibitors, up from 45 per cent in 2007, to 54 per cent this year.

But this confidence rose to 65 per cent in France, 54 per cent in the US and 49 per cent in Germany. Open source adoption was reported particularly in the deployment of new applications and replacement of outdated systems.

Persistent barriers to adoption included a lack of in-house skills to implement open source software, which was cited by 58 per cent of respondents and this year overtook perceived issues with the availability of long-term support.

The software provider said skills issues suggested not only that more organisations had progressed further with their investigations into the value of open source, but also that they are in short supply because of the greater adoption of open source across businesses generally.

The survey findings also support Gartner's projections that, by 2012, at least 80 per cent of all commercial software solutions will include substantive open source components.

Nobby Akiha, Actuate senior vice president of marketing at the company, said the survey surpassed last year's response rate by more than a third.

"The findings confirm that open source is not a passing fad, but is being broadly recognised and embraced as offering organisations sustained competitive advantage," he added.

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.