Recession will see boom in open source, cloud tech

Recession will see boom in open source, cloud tech

Summary: Traditional tech vendors may find it hard to stay relevant as companies increasingly turn to alternative technologies during the economic downturn

TOPICS: Tech Industry

The economic downturn could be one of the biggest threats to face traditional tech vendors, as businesses increasingly look to alternative technologies to help get them through the recession.

That's according to industry experts at The Intellect Annual Regent Conference 2009 in London, who said businesses will be looking at more innovative technologies to cut costs as well as prepare for the end of the recession.

Richard Holway, chairman of analyst house TechMarketView, said: "[In a recession] you actually get an acceleration in adoption of new technologies."

John Gantz, chief research officer and senior vice president at analyst firm IDC, agreed. He said: "The economic crisis will force some companies to make technological changes they may not have made."

Among these alternative technologies are software-as-a-service (SaaS), open-source software and cloud computing — all of which go against the business models of the tech old guard.

Holway said some companies will find it increasingly difficult to remain relevant as businesses realise the benefits of this technology during and after the economic slump.

These emerging technologies will provide better value for money as businesses struggle with cashflow but could also prove to be better bets in the long term as well.

IDC's Gantz said: "Leading technology users will use the downturn to pull further ahead."

Holway added: "I think there are now bigger opportunities for change than in the [whole time] I've been in IT.

But he warned: "I believe the power of Microsoft over the next period will be severely weakened. The whole model that Microsoft has got is under severe threat."

Ian Smith, ex-regional senior vice president for Oracle UK and now managing partner at AndersonBick Consultants, said: "SAP, Oracle — if they're not prepared to change, potentially, they are dinosaurs. If these companies aren't smart, they could become dinosaurs."

Kate Craig-Wood, managing director of hosting company Memset, said open-source technology could also be a big winner as a result of the economic crisis.

She said: "I think the current period could be a catalyst for a large move to open source. Again, I think that's a big threat to Microsoft."

Topic: Tech Industry

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Linux vs. Microsoft

    Linux is slowly progressing towards victory! Linux is also becomming more user friendly (compared nine-years ago). I think, if the recession
    is going to last longer, Linux will be in a head-to-head competition with Microsoft and Unix.

    If Linux can have 100% game compatibility (such as Half Life and other hardcore games),the Xbox and PS3 is also gonna have competion.
  • Confusing apples with pears?

    I might be wrong, and forgive me if I am, but I think your confusing the triumph of Linux on the desktop with the triumph of Linux as a platform for cloud computing or infrastructure (i.e. stuff that goes werrrr in the server room).

    Linux on the desktop isn't going to make anybody any money (ask Mark Shuttleworth), but Linux as a platform for cloud computing (subscription charging?) or as a platform for network services (support-based charging) is where the money is to be made.

    I don't know about computer games. Not my bag.
  • Netbooks

    The sharp peak in Linux loaded netbooks gives the lie to this assertion. The main problem with desktop Linux adoption is that people already have desktops and they don't currently run Linux. If they try and port their existing desktop lock stock and barrel over to Linux then they will almost certainly run into a problem with trying to get Linux versions of some of their existing tools. There is no Linux Photoshop. There is however The Gimp, which does almost everything that Photoshop does in a similar way. Absolutely fine for 99% of Photoshop users.

    Netbooks though, are not the same deal. You use the netbook as delivered. it does web, mail and documents right out of the box and is generally not intended to be used for anything else. Sales of these devices are howling along. People are indeed making money off of non-server-room-werrrr Linux.
    Andrew Meredith