CATAAlliance surveyed Canadian IT decision-maker perceptions of open source software and its applicability to their organizations. The findings:
Open source is becoming an explicit component in enterprise IT strategy and architecture. Only 13% of respondents do not include open source in their strategy. The majority acknowledged open source as both an:
– Implicit component such as a default option for the web, e.g. Apache (55%) or part of commercial hardware or software (30%)
– Explicit component such as open source business applications (50%) or custom in-house code (51%), for the purposes of both middleware/interoperability and business solution functionality.
– Almost half of respondents have defined formal policies and practices for both internal open source development , and only a quarter for external sharing back to the open community.
The maturity levels of open source for enterprise use are perceived to be:
– High for web (server, development, browser), database, and directory.
– Medium for application servers, operating systems, desktop productivity applications.
– Low for enterprise software (ERP, CRM), collaborative software etc.
The ease of introducing open source given current installed (COTS) bases was considered to be:
– Very easy for the web,
– More challenging for mainframe operating systems, and
– Very difficult for desktop productivity solutions.
The key overall decision criteria in making strategic and architectural decisions were identified as, in order of priority: 1. Reliability, 2. Performance, 3. Price, 4. Security, 5. Interoperability.
The biggest concerns and irritants with open and other (COTS) source were:
Open #1 – Intellectual property concerns
#2 – Time-consuming to research and assess
Other #1 – Pricing and licensing costs and policies
#2 – Security