Open Source shows resilience in tough economy

Recent research has shown that despite the majority of businesses continuing to curtail their IT spend, open source (OSS) has fared well in terms of adoption and effectiveness. However, it looks likely that organisations will continue to be dictated by the UK’s struggling economy for some considerable time.

Survey results collated during 2010 by business and technology magazine, Information Age, have revealed that the majority of UK organisations remained true to the conservative approach they adopted during the recession.

Unsure as to how the economy would recover and with IT spending already cut back to the absolute minimum, it was hardly surprising that companies were just as reticent in embracing new IT strategies and technologies in 2010 as they had been the year before.

2009’s survey showed that a significant number of IT leaders had plans to adopt a variety of strategies during 2010, including master data management (27.7%), information life-cycle management (22.0%) and corporate-wide business intelligence (21.4%).

However, 2010’s results suggest that the majority of these organisations had their ambitions curtailed by ongoing budgetary constraints, with these planned strategies seeing only a minimal rise: 7.7% for master data management, 9.7% for information life-cycle management and 6.1% for corporate-wide business intelligence.

In fact, only one IT strategy truly benefited from the credit crunch – reducing staffing costs.
The top ten most adopted strategies in 2010 were:

The top ten most adopted strategies in 2010 were:

  1. Encouraged/support remote or mobile working – 79.1%
  2. Deployed server virtualisation technology – 65.8%
  3. Used asset management and helpdesk automation tools – 62.7%
  4. Used videoconferencing – 60.9%
  5. Reduced IT staffing costs – 50%
  6. Implemented a unified IP network architecture – 49.2%
  7. Deployed automated systems management tools – 48.4%
  8. Deployed open source applications – 47.7%
  9. Deployed storage virtualisation applications – 45.4%
  10. Adopted ITIL – 42.6%

When it came to effectiveness, once-radical open source applications fared extremely well, rating fourth out of the top ten strategies, with 80% of respondents stating that they were ‘effective or very effective’. In addition, 55.8% using OSS commented that they had already seen a return on investment.

So what does 2011 bring? It seems that conservative strategies seem set to continue, with 42.1% respondents reporting that their IT budgets would be remaining the same as 2010.

It looks as if IT departments will continue to be ruled by the country’s economy for the foreseeable future.

Stuart Mackintosh, OPUSVL, 16/02/2011

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