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June 19, 2007

Survey Shows Open Source BI Gaining Momentum

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Actuate (News - Alert) Corporation has announced the results of its 2007 Open Source Software Survey. This global survey focused on key areas concerning Open Source software, including: awareness and adoption levels; benefits and barriers to adoption; adoption influences and Open Source Business Intelligence (BI).
More than six hundred IT and business professionals representing financial services and other industries provided detailed data that displayed enhanced awareness and adoption of Open Source software. The results show that 42.9 percent of respondents are already using Open Source, 23.6 percent are currently using Open Source BI and 31.2 percent are likely or very likely to consider using Open Source BI solutions.
"These survey results show that Open Source software is moving into the mainstream and that Open Source is rising in influence," said Mark Madsen, president of Third Nature and faculty at The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI), in a Tuesday statement.
"Half the organizations surveyed stated that Open Source is either the preferred option or is explicitly considered in the software procurement process. One surprising note is that one-third of the organizations surveyed are now likely to consider Open Source business intelligence in their evaluations. This is a huge shift from just a few years ago."
In the Financial Services sector in North America, Germany and the UK, responses were collected from IT and business professionals and 49 percent of them are already using Open Source software and 29.8 percent are already using Open Source BI. The key benefit cited for Open Source software at 60 percent was no licensing fees, while other benefits included vendor independence, flexibility, access to source code, software that is built on open platforms, freedom from Microsoft (News - Alert) environment and standards-based technology.
Of this same group, over half reported that they chose Open Source software as either the preferred option or a specific consideration when procuring software. Another 37 percent say that it is not a factor in procurement and 12.5 percent have a policy of not using Open Source software.

This group also experiences barriers to adoption. Participants perceive barriers in implementing Open Source technologies as including the lack of availability of long term support at 52.7 percent and maintenance at 48.9 percent. Other perceived barriers include absence of in-house skills to implement at 38.3 percent; incompatibility with existing applications at 35.1 percent; no proven track record in real world applications at 30.9 percent and the inability to provide indemnification at 30.3 percent.

"This year's survey has yielded a tremendous response with more than 600 senior business and IT professionals taking the time to give us a unique snapshot of their views and insights into Open Source software adoption trends, especially in the BI market," said Nobby Akiha, senior vice president of Marketing at Actuate, in a Tuesday statement.
"The survey results illustrate that there is increased demand for Open Source. The results also help us set our strategic direction to meet the demands of our customers and to assist organizations with their current business challenges."
While the demand for Open Source solutions appears to be gaining momentum, the challenges for implementation still exist – whether they are actual or perceived. Independent groups are working to advance widespread adoption by addressing these challenges and offering solutions, but such change takes time.
There are many benefits that a company can realize by selecting Open Source technologies, but these benefits are generally gained after initial challenges are overcome. As a result, Open Source can often seem like a liability for the organization as the benefits are harder to recognize before implementation and even immediately after. There are those that believe strongly in the value that Open Source provides and this opinion seems to be spreading. How steadily it will continue – only time will tell.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMC (News - Alert) and has also written for To see more of her articles, please visit Susan J. Campbell’s columnist page.
Want to learn more about open source solutions? Then be sure to check out TMCnet’s White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP Communications industry. The library offers white papers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users. The papers are authored by industry leaders, who, in turn, receive qualified sales leads from interested parties. Check here for the latest in CRM information.

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