Home opinion-and-analysis Beer Files IT organisations go Linux as economy dives says survey

IT organisations go Linux as economy dives says survey

There has been a surge in Linux acquisition as a result of the global recession, according to a new market survey. According to a new whitepaper, more than half of IT executives are planning to fast track Linux adoption in 2009.

The study, conducted by IDC in February 2009 and sponsored by Novell (let's not leave that bit out), surveyed more than 300 senior IT executives spanning manufacturing, financial services, and retail industries across the globe, as well as government agencies.

The survey reveals that more than half of the IT executives surveyed plan to accelerate Linux adoption in 2009.

In addition, more than 72% of respondents say they are either actively evaluating or have already decided to increase their adoption of Linux on the server in 2009.

Perhaps even more is that more than 68% of IT executives are also making the same claim for the desktop.

The number one motivation executives gave for migrating to Linux was economic and related to lowering ongoing support costs.

As a consequence, more than 40% of survey participants said they plan to deploy additional workloads on Linux over the next 12-24 months and 49% indicated Linux will be their primary server platform within five years.

Notably, however, those who are hesitant to adopt Linux cited lack of application support and poor interoperability with Windows and other environments as their primary concerns.


“The feedback gleaned from this market survey confirms our belief that, as organizations fight to cut costs and find value in this tough economic climate, Linux adoption will accelerate,” said Markus Rex, general manager and senior vice president for Open Platform Solutions at Novell.

“Companies also told us that strengthening Linux application support, interoperability, virtualization capabilities and technical support will all fuel adoption even more.”

Additional key survey findings include:

·         67% of respondents stated that interoperability and manageability between Linux and Windows is one of the most important factors when choosing an operating system.

·         The retail industry showed the greatest potential for acceleration in Linux adoption with 63% of respondents planning an increase on the desktop and 69% considering the same on the server. The government sector lagged.

·         Almost 50% of respondents plan to accelerate adoption of Linux on the desktop, especially for basic office functions, technical workstation users, and higher education/K-12.

·         Nearly half of respondents stated that moving to virtualization is accelerating their adoption of Linux. Eighty-eight% of recipients plan to evaluate, deploy or increase their use of virtualization software within Linux operating systems over the next 12-24 months

·         From a regional perspective, Asia/Pacific is the most bullish on increasing Linux adoption, as 73% of respondents said they would increase deployments on the server and 70% on the desktop. In the Americas, 66% of respondents said they are either evaluating or have already decided to increase adoption of Linux on the desktop and 67% on the server.

·         The economic crisis has had the biggest effect on the Americas, and in financial services and government. More than 62% of respondents said that their budget has been cut or that they are only investing where needed.

“Economic downturns have the tendency to accelerate emerging technologies, boost the adoption of effective solutions and punish solutions that are not cost competitive,” said Al Gillen, program vice president, system software, IDC.

“This survey confirms that Linux users view it favorably, and this view places Linux in a competitive position to emerge from this downturn as a stronger solution.”

Among the survey participants, 55% had Linux server operating systems in use, 39% had Unix server operating systems in use, and 97% had Windows server operating systems in use. Typical respondents had titles such as CIO, VP IT, IT Director, IT Manager, IT Staff, and IT Consultant. Respondents were pre-screened via demographics screeners and completed the survey online. Novell was not involved in recruiting, and respondents did not need to be Novell customers.

An IDC white paper1 summarizing the survey findings can be found  here.


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Stan Beer


Stan Beer co-founded iTWire in 2005. With 30 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications.