Open source investment set to grow in 2010

Open source

Open source software may be looking at a bumper year in 2010, as a new survey showed companies are looking to invest.

The study by Accenture found 69 per cent of 300 large organisations questioned anticipated increased investment into open source software.

Even more impressively, 38 per cent claimed they were looking at migrating mission-critical software over to an open source alternative within the next year.

Other findings in the report suggested half of businesses are were "fully committed" to using open source in their operations, with almost a third 28 per cent claiming to be keeping an open mind towards the prospect of using it.

"What we are seeing is the coming of age of open source," said Paul Daugherty, chief technology architect at Accenture.

"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."

As well as those companies new to open source wanting to invest, the research showed 88 per cent of businesses already using it were planning to up investment in 2010 compared to 2009.

"We can expect to see this trend develop as open source continues to evolve and address even more business critical functions," Daugherty concluded.

However, not every finding was so positive for the proprietary alternative.

The results of the survey showed 35 per cent of companies thought there were still issues when it came to training developers how to use open source.

There were also claims of a lack of support for the technology from senior management figures, who claimed there were insufficient open source alternatives compared to proprietary software suites.

"The current wave of companies adopting open source are experiencing strong benefits," added Daugherty, "However, there are still organisations hesitant about the shared community model."

"As open source software is used in more critical business functions the next step will be for organisations to decide whether to actively contribute back to the community."

The respondents to the survey came from the UK, Ireland and the US.

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.