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Five Key Points to Remember When Looking at Market Research on the Open Source Software Movement

On August 20, 2008 ebizQ is holding an Open Source Software (OSS) Roundtable called An Open Source Market Update.” This session presents—in a question/answer format—an overview of ebizQ and other OSS market research findings pointing at important OSS best practices of implementation and usage.  Typically there is no better way to understand how to implement information technology (IT) than to see how your peers use it.

(If you are reading this article prior to August 20, 2008, register here or visit the link on the ebizQ OSS page under Webinars or on almost every ebizQ page under the title “Where the Action Never Ends.”  If you are reading this after August 20, 2008, a replay is available via the “… Action Never Ends” link.)

Some market research that has appeared in 2008 and that is discussed on the August 20 panel includes a market sizing from IDC, a report on OSS quality from Fortify Software, a report on open source acceptance in enterprises by OpenLogic, as well as

  • the Linux ecosystem report released by the Linux Foundation
  • the Commercial Open Source Survey results from the Open Solutions Alliance

This article points out some of the things to watch for when reading these or any other market research results.

Timing is everything

One example used in the roundtable session is a June 2008 report from Matt Lawton of IDC that I think confirms trends I found in IT Investment Research year-end 2007 OSS survey, which ebizQ commissioned back in January 2008. My survey in turn confirmed research Matt did in June 2007. First point: “When was the research done?”  The OSS market changes rapidly although the overall software market is like an aircraft carrier and turns slowly.


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