Open Source, Now Bigger Than Ever

Open source software is primetime.

This according to findings of a survey conducted by Optaros, an open source services company. Nearly 87% of the 512 US companies surveyed by Optaros. Sampled companies ranged in size from small organizations with revenue under $50 million to large organizations with revenues over $1 billion.

Given that Optaros makes a living off open source, one has to remain skeptical of the findings, since they can be self serving. Nevertheless, I am willing to buy into the study because of the growing proliferation of Linux operating system, the Apache web server. If you add open source browsers say like Firefox to the mix, well 87% number isn’t that hard to get to.

MySQL now has 33% of the market. Linux share of the server business continues to grow at double digit rates. Interestingly, 42% of the survey participants had open source portals and content management systems that supported a single function. Some 16% used open source customer relationship management systems, a percentage that will double in the next three years. Oh that must be good news for SugarCRM.

Why are the companies using open source? Simple – cost savings.

Organizations with annual revenue of more than $1 billion saved an average $3.3 million in 2004 from their open source software. Medium-sized companies (with revenues between $50 million and $1 billion) saved an average $1.1 million, and companies less than $50 million saved about $500,000.

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