Gartner: 85 percent of companies using open source

Gartner: 85 percent of companies using open source

Summary: The analyst house warns that, although take-up of open-source software is widespread, most companies do not have formal procurement or governance policies in place for such software.

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Eighty-five percent of companies are already using open-source software, with most of the remaining 15 percent expecting to do so within the next year, according to analysts at Gartner.

However, only 31 percent of companies surveyed by the analyst house had formal policies for evaluating and procuring open-source software (OSS). Gartner conducted its survey of 274 end-user organizations across the Asia/Pacific, Europe and North American markets in May and June, and announced the results on Monday.

Respondents to the survey consistently pointed to cost as a prime motivator for their adoption of open source, with some also suggesting OSS provided some protection against single-vendor lock-in. Other reasons for adoption included fast time to market and the avoidance of complex procurement rules and procedures, Gartner said.

However, according to Gartner, a lack of formal policies could open companies up to intellectual-property violations. The analyst house's survey put governance issues at the top of the list for barriers to OSS adoption.

"Just because something is free doesn't mean that it has no cost," said Gartner research director Laurie Wurster in a statement. "Companies must have a policy for procuring OSS, deciding which applications will be supported by OSS, and identifying the intellectual property risk or supportability risk associated with using OSS. Once a policy is in place, then there must be a governance process to enforce it."

Wurster added that the variety of license types and forms for open-source software could make understating when and where OSS might fit in a "frustrating process".

"As time goes by, many of these concerns will be addressed, but this continues to be a slow process," Wurster said. "Increases in OSS popularity and in the rate of OSS adoption will drive the required changes."

In terms of the business processes for which open-source software is being used, customer service headed Gartner's list, although enterprise integration, finance and administration and business analytics also showed strongly.

Topics: CXO, IT Priorities, Open Source, Software

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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28 comments
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  • Pretty deep penetration

    and only going to get deeper. ]:)
    Linux User 147560
    • Deep penetration..... heh heh heh

      Only going to get deeper. STOP your killing me!!!!!

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
      • Seems

        you're the only one that got it... ]:)
        Linux User 147560
  • RE: Gartner: 85 percent of companies using open source

    wonder what planet this guy is on, i works for ALOT of tech and not tech business, and most do NOT use Linux/FOSS, OSS AT ALL.

    nil, none zip, nada.

    the most ive seen in over 20 years in the IT industry, and running my own IT business is 3 boxes working as a file server, and one as a firewall, and a legacy UNIX box running an old DB.

    sure you can say things like 85% but we all know the truth dont we :)

    But hey come back and tell me how you cant get a windows box to be stable, how your granny can use Linux, and how linux has everything you have ever needed for software.

    Tell me how you linux box never crashes, and is totally secure.

    We'll all have a good laugh at you and later be a little bit sad about your inability to use even a simple windows PC properly.

    and smile as you wonder why most of the computer users on this planet would NEVER touch software written by a community that cannot get a windows box to work.

    I hate bweing anti-linux but you guys have let us down so much you need a good kick in the butt and told to wake up to yourself, and come up with some viable competition to MS.

    18 years, and your a failure.

    85% in your dreams. !!
    Aussie_Troll
    • I really don't think for most people the problem

      has been NOT being able to work with a Windows PC.
      People can get work done on a Windows PC. The problem
      is that while you can get work done on a PC "IF" one find
      they can do the same or more easier why not go that way?
      Now in the case of Open Source it might not be easier but
      what if it's as easy or close to it and far cheaper!?! I don't
      think anyone has claimed that work can not be done on a
      Windows PC the claim is that there are viable alternatives.

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
    • Obviously

      OSS = Linux

      Perhaps if you used firefox, you'd make fewer spelling mistakes in your posts.
      AndyCee
    • I've never heard of "ALOT of tech", what...

      ...line of business are they in?
      I [i]can[/i] say that 85% is probably not that far off, most companies will have SOME OpenSource in their portfolio, be it Apache, Linux, Firefox, OpenOffice, Java, Glassfish, NetBeans, OpenSolaris etc.
      Some are even willing to claim that Barack Obama may have been aided in the election because of Open Source software and the principles behind it: http://www.opensource.org/node/372
      914four
  • RE: Gartner: 85 percent of companies using open source

    http://www.gartner.com/it/about/policies_guidelines/research_docs.jsp

    where is your reference to this information, and if you read the gartner license guidelines, you are not allowed to quote data from research from gartner as you have.

    so based on that i can only assume its a blantant lie to get people in to read your article.

    i dont buy it, and would expect decent and honest reporting from you.
    Aussie_Troll
    • Uh?

      [i] ... if you read the gartner license guidelines, you are not allowed to quote data from research from gartner as you have.[/i]

      It's from a press release that is publicly available on Gartner's own website:

      [b]Gartner Says as Number of Business Processes Using Open-Source Software Increases, Companies Must Adopt and Enforce an OSS Policy

      STAMFORD, Conn., November 17, 2008 ? [/b]

      [i] Adoption of open-source software (OSS) is becoming pervasive, with 85 percent of companies surveyed currently using OSS in their enterprises and the remaining 15 percent expecting to in the next 12 months, according to Gartner, Inc.[/i]

      http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=801412

      Let me ask you something, is the term "Aussie_Troll" synonymous with the term "Aussie_idiot"? ;)
      MisterMiester
    • Ok, I will feed this troll

      Are you saying it is false information?

      Do you even REALIZE Apache Server is OpenSource?

      I do not know of a single company that does not use Apache - even if it solely for testing purposes.

      Turn off your tunnel-vision regarding Operating Systems before you start running off at that hole under your nose.
      ireadyouremail
  • NO! NO!

    This can't be true!

    Signed
    Fake Microsoft Zealot
    kozmcrae
    • Yes, Open Source is making a little progress...

      ...and we're also pretty sure that smoking is bad for you too.
      914four
  • Overrated survey...

    We use no Open Source software here at all. Every now and then my MS rep gives us some source code but it is not open and I sign several thousand pages of contracts before I receive it promising not to even talk about its content. Companies don't need Open Source; what they need is high value add products like Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 and Office 2007.
    Mike Cox
    • Is that so?

      Do you use Windows Mike? There's OSS packaged in with it.
      rpmyers1
    • Hooked a live one, Mike!

      Soon as you finish signing them contracts, reel him in.

      PS: Don't forget to make extra copies of them contracts for the BSA.
      Ole Man
    • What? I do not beleive it.

      You are going to leave us guessing as to where you and your Rep had lunch at?

      :)
      GuidingLight
    • Drum roll....

      nt
      no_zd_user_name
    • So you don't use Java?

      Even Microsoft uses OpenSource in their datacenter.
      914four
  • WRONG ARTICLE

    Think you guys can consistently get the links right?
    itanalyst2@...
  • Tricky number.

    "Gartner conducted its survey of 274 end-user organizations across the Asia/Pacific, Europe and North American markets in May and June, and announced the results on Monday."

    ONLY 274 organization?, its say NOTHING. 274 from several thousand of organization,so how much is the error margin?. 10%, 20%?.
    magallanes