Economic slowdown could boost open source

22 Apr 2008

The economic slowdown in the US could boost demand for open source technology and services, analyst firm IDC has claimed.

A recent survey by the company found that 60pc of American firms polled increased the percentage of their annual IT budget spent on open source technology in 2007.

Quality assurance, testing, and certification of open source systems was rated as the fastest-growing services opportunity by respondents, who projected their spending on this service would grow 150pc between 2007 and 2008, IDC said.

Based on the survey results, IDC forecasts that open source software and related services will continue to expand in importance over 2008.

“The economic slowdown in the US may actually boost demand for open source services,” said Gard Little, program manager, IDC’s Worldwide Services and Emerging Services Opportunities research programmes. “If organisations adopt more open source software as part of a strategy to reduce software costs, the demand for related services should increase.”

The study found that cost savings remained the no 1 reason for respondents to adopt open source software, and that medium-sized and larger organisations are more likely to adopt open source technology.

The biggest anxieties for IT managers surrounded integrating open source and proprietary software components.

Some 518 IT and business executives were polled during the study.

By Niall Byrne