Linux surges as recession hits IT industry

Novell today released results of a market survey showing Linux as the route the IT industry has been taking to get through the recession.

The survey, conducted by IDC and sponsored by Novell, shows more than half of the IT executives surveyed are planning to speed up the adoption of Linux in 2009. The main motivation they gave was economic, and based on lowering ongoing support costs.

"Economic downturns have the tendency to accelerate emerging technologies, boost the adoption of effective solutions and punish solutions that are not cost competitive," said Al Gillen, programme vice president in system software for IDC.

"This survey confirms that Linux users view it favourably, and this view places Linux in a competitive position to emerge from this downturn as a stronger solution."

The study surveyed more than 300 senior IT executives from across the globe, with more than 72 per cent of respondents saying they were either actively evaluating or have already decided to increase their adoption of Linux on the server in 2009. More than 68 per cent made the same claim for the desktop.

The retail industry gave the most positive results for speeding up Linux adoption with 63 per cent of respondents planning an increase on the desktop and 69 per cent considering the same on the server.

Markus Rex, general manager and senior vice president for Open Platform Solutions at Novell, said: "The feedback gleaned from this market survey confirms our belief that, as organisations fight to cut costs and find value in this tough economic climate, Linux adoption will accelerate."

"Companies also told us that strengthening Linux application support, interoperability, virtualisation capabilities and technical support will all fuel adoption even more."

Although 49 per cent indicated Linux would be their primary server platform within five years some respondents were hesitant. Their main concerns were lack of application support and poor interoperability with Windows and other environments.

However, with more than 62 per cent of respondents saying their budgets had been cut or that they were only investing where needed, the economic benefits of Linux will see its continuing growth.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.