OSA Survey Finds Open Source Software Business Thriving in 2008


In the first annual survey of its membership and other open source software and services companies, the Open Solutions Alliance found optimism despite a murky economy with 83 percent of participants saying they would see a year-over-year increase in revenue in 2008 of open source related software and services.

ebizQ received the following:

Considering that 78 percent of survey participants reported that the affordable price of open source software is motivating their customers, the turn toward open source in a down economy is not surprising.

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The survey also revealed that open source companies are serious about collaboration. Nearly all of the survey respondents — 97 percent — reported that they have active partnerships with other open source software and services companies. And the average survey participant had 10 such partnerships.

“We knew that collaboration was important to open source companies, but this statistic was surprising,” said Dominic Sartorio, senior director of product management for SpikeSource and president of the Open Solutions Alliance. “The Open Solutions Alliance is focused on improving interoperability of open source solutions and fostering collaboration amongst their respective companies, so it’s gratifying to see this level of collaboration happening in our industry today.”

The survey also shows that a large majority of companies (84.5%) that participated in the survey sell open source products or services that run on Microsoft Windows or otherwise interoperate with Microsoft products.

“Microsoft is an important partner to numerous open source companies and will continue to be more so moving forward,” said Anthony Gold, vice president and general manager for the Open Source Business at Unisys and an OSA board member. “Enterprises need to maximize their IT resources and many realize that a hybrid Microsoft-open source environment can be the best option for their requirements.

The OSA’S OS Market Survey conducted in late June covered a number of topics of interest to the open source community. Other key findings include:

Most open source companies surveyed (85 percent) have operations outside the United States and of those, 58 percent say they see more widespread open source adoption outside the U.S.

A majority (72 percent) say software as a service (SaaS) is an important part of their business strategy. Just over half (56%) of survey participants said their customers were concerned about interoperability between open source applications.

A much larger group (79%) reported that their customers were concerned about interoperability between open source and proprietary solutions.

In all 46 companies responded to the survey, both OSA members and non-members.

For the full survey report, please visit the Open Solutions Alliance website at www.opensolutionsalliance.org.

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