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24 May 2012, 15:24

Freedom from vendor lock-in drives adoption of open source

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According to a report by the 451 Group, many companies are now identifying freedom from vendor lock-in as an important reason for switching to open source software. In a recent survey by the group, 60% of respondents said that the top factor that made open source software "attractive" was the absence of the dependency on one particular vendor. The second most quoted factor was lower acquisition and maintenance costs (51%) followed by better code quality (43%) and the ability to look at the source code (42%).

The 451 Group says that, over the last few years, they have seen lock-in disappear as a big factor, but with this survey, it is suddenly back on the agenda again. The analysts' theory is that this is due to the emergence of the cloud computing market, where open source software has played a big role, and the fact that customers are trying to keep their options open as they are figuring out what parts of their business to transition to cloud services. One reason that has stayed constant from previous reports is the advantage of reduced development costs of open source software, a point that 62% of respondents identified as important.

The report also sheds light on the main reasons companies have trouble switching to open source software – the top factors being unfamiliarity and a lack of internal technical skills. As far as revenue models for open source companies are concerned, support and service agreements as well as value-added subscriptions rank far ahead of open core or dual-licensing models (where some code of a product remains proprietary).


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