Support as Linux Inhibitor

ZDNet reports about the findings on Linux usage in the UK:

The No. 1 factor preventing companies from purchasing Linux installations was support availability, the survey found. “What’s worse is that the people who are using Linux are even more critical of the support situation,” Mike Banahan, chief technology officer of OpenForum Europe, said. “For busy IT directors, they want to have someone to place a support contract with. They want to continue with their established suppliers whom they’ve been using for ten years, and whom they know are going to stay in the market. Proper service-level agreements and support contracts are something the industry has to get into place.”

Ironically, one of Linux’s biggest selling points is its reliability, and some large organisations using it — such as the London borough of Waltham Forest — say it essentially needs no support, according to OpenForum’s case studies. But such arguments fall on deaf ears with most businesses, Banahan said: “You can argue that it’s all a charade and it’s stupid, but that’s what the market wants.”

Other findings were more positive for the open-source community. Companies are taking the software more seriously, as they grow increasingly concerned about lock-ins to proprietary products, the survey found: listing their business priorities, the top concern was creating more efficient internal processes, followed by examining the possibility of using open-source software.

The main draw of Linux is the perception that it decreases costs, the survey found.

Have been thinking about the possibility of setting up a Linux support centre from India.


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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.