Survey: Open source will be 'most disruptive' to databases and OS

At a time when corporate IT budgets are shrinking, 96 percent of participants in the latest Future of Open Source 2009 Survey said they think the economy's turbulence is "good" for open source, a number up substantially over last year's figure of 81 percent.

Open source software will be "most disruptive" over the next five years to IT sectors that include databases and operating systems, but "least disruptive" to areas such as office productivity and security tools. When asked to identify the sector most susceptible to disruption, 52% of respondents pointed to databases, 36% to OS, 28% to business intelligence, and 22% to Web content management.

Conversely, the areas least susceptible to disruption over the next five years are office productivity, security tools, and ERP/CEM (enterprise resource planning/customer relationship management), the participant said.

Presented at this week's Open Source Business Conference, this year's edition of the survey was conducted among 435 respondents, who essentially identified their organizations as using, developing, selling, or "investigating" open source software. This year's respondents predicted that only 63% of software purchases will be open source five years from now, down slightly from a 2008 prediction of 67%.

The top five barriers to open source adoption pinpointed by the 2009 survey included, in this order: "unfamiliarity with open source software," "lack of internal technical skills," "lack of formal commercial vendor support," "stringent IT operations policies," and "legal concerns about licensing."

Fewer numbers of participants cited the following as barriers: security concerns, total cost of ownership, and "application deployment complexity."

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