Open source high on UK companies' radar

Survey: Three quarters of UK businesses will have implemented open source systems within five years, according to the National Computing Centre

UK companies are increasingly convinced that open source technologies will play a major role in their IT strategy.

In an online survey of 140 senior technology executives, conducted by the National Computing Centre, more than 50 per cent have either adopted or are planning to adopt open source.

Three out of five said open source will become a fundamental component in their core IT systems, and three quarters said their organisations' IT strategy will include open source over the next five years.

Executives surveyed pointed to reduced licensing costs, increased flexibility and lower total cost of ownership as the main benefits of going down the non-proprietary route.

But lack of long-term support was cited as the major inhibitor to adoption, and one in three executives said more advice on technical strategy would be the thing that would help them most with their open source strategy.

Open source offerings have already proved their viability in a climate where business value from IT investment is the driver, said Michael Dean, membership director at The National Computing Centre.

"Further competition in the marketplace will benefit everybody and continued encouraging actions from the government will accelerate its adoption," he said in a statement.

Atos Consulting, which sponsored the survey, said companies that prepare their open source adoption roadmap thoroughly can realise tangible cost-benefits in a very short time.