Downturn accelerates demand for open source software

29 Jul 2009

Worldwide revenue from open source software is set to grow at 22.4pc to reach US$8.1bn by 2013, according to IDC.

According to IDC open source software has had a much higher level of acceptance in the business world in the last 12 months and the tough economy also acted to accelerate uptake and use of open source software.

“The open source software market has seen a strong boost from the current economic crisis,” said Michael Fauscette, group vice president, Software Business Solutions at IDC.

“OSS is increasingly a part of the enterprise software strategy of leading businesses and is seeing mainstream adoption at a strong pace. As the overall software industry continues to consolidate, it will be key for OSS vendors to reach scale if they plan to continue as a standalone business,” Fauscette said.

Large software vendors like IBM, Sun, Dell, HP, and Oracle are making significant amounts of indirect revenue from their activities with and support of open source software. This has greatly aided mainstream adoption and acceptance of open source software.

Hybrid business models seem to be increasing. It is likely that this will end up as the most prevalent business model, with on-premise vendors adding software as a service (SaaS), SaaS vendors offering on premise, open source software vendors selling variants, and closed source vendors offering more open source software.

The opportunity to leverage open source software in ways that increase competitive advantage, such as a part of business process optimisation (BPO) offerings or as a part of a software appliance, is on the rise and should help increase adoption and growth for open source software vendors.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years