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This article looks at the question “Who are leaders in open source software market penetration?” and even at how the idea of “leadership” should be calculated. ebizQ research finds IT users just want good software that doesn’t break often. And when it does, they want a substantial company available to fix it.



A slew of research released into the blogosphere in 2007 says pure open source software (OSS) is overtaking the information technology (IT) market. Here are just two examples:

  • A recent release from the research house, Saugatuck Technology, says OSS will account for up to 20% of enterprise on-premise software by 2010, up from 10% in 2007. The “n,” at 200, is thin, especially given that the underlying data involved interviewing both IT and business executives, but directionally a doubling of penetration over the next few years sounds right to experts. Also size of company interviewed is not mentioned in the article; with such a small “n,” it would be important that large enterprises are weighted properly in the statistical analysis. Because large enterprises spend most of the money and are less likely to be packaged-software and/or Microsoft-centric, experts expect OSS to dominate in large enterprises first.
  • Another research house, the market-numbers-giant IDC says “Worldwide revenue from standalone open source software reached $1.8 billion in 2006. This revenue will reach $5.8 billion in 2011, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26% from 2006 to 2011.” Measuring penetration from this perspective results in smaller numbers than the Saugatuck approach but directionally, rapidly rising penetration percentages still result. Other IDC public documents indicate that the $1.8 billion represents abut 1% of all software spending, with a forecasted OSS growth rate of 26% equallying about three times the growth rate of all software.

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