Linux is officially now the mainstream when it comes to enterprise adoption, in accordance with analysts that are presenting the breakthrough research at the LinuxCon conference.
There is separate data to analyse between Forrester Research and IDC, but they both indicated that Linux among other open source technology continues to make inroads in corporate environments. The continuing adoption of Linux has given analysts the green light to provide recommendations on how to best adopt these new open source technologies.
Jeffrey Hammond, principal analyst of Forrester Research, says, “congratulations, you’re on the winning team. Linux has crossed the chasm to mainstream adoption.”
According to the survey data collected by Forrester, enterprises have been attracted to open source technologies mostly as a way to cut costs. Forrester found that this movement actually caused corporations to start looking to open source as a driver of growth as well, beyond staying within budget.
Towards the end of 2009, 48% of the survey respondents for Forrester were using an operating system that was open source, while 57% were using a programming language that was open source. Just one in five said that they weren’t using an open source.
With Hammond, the secret to spreading the good news is to have developers take on the technology initially, and then slowly bring management around to the concept.
Hammond says, “it’s not about Linux that your mother can use. We need Linux that developers can use – if you get developers you can get the rest of the enterprise.”
He suggests that open source vendors focus on things like innovation, flexibility and speed, not just on how much money it’s going to save.
“Companies are willing to pay for fair value delivered. Just craft the right business models.”
In a separate session, Al Gillen of IDC said that according to the forecasts of his research, software profit related to Linux would approach the same level as Unix by 2014.
Gillen says, “a good portion of the Unix spend is coming directly to Linux.”
He continued by saying that Linux often comes out on top when up against Solaris-based distributions, with the migration target usually being Red Hat. When it comes to IBM and HP users, Microsoft Windows is usually the winner. When asked why the various Unix users go different routes when it comes to migration, Gillen said that each user base has specific application use cases.
“Solaris shops are more technically oriented, and are more likely to develop their own apps. HP-UX and AIX users are more likely to run package apps.”
When it comes to deploying in the cloud, Gillen sees an opportunity for Linux, although he warns that Microsoft has a strong game in the cloud space, which is going to be hard to beat. He says that Linux wins when there is no prior dependency on Microsoft.