There's been a surge in the acquisition of Linux driven by the worldwide recession. As businesses seek to cut costs and find value, they are drawn to the economies that Linux offers, with more than half of IT executives planning to accelerate Linux adoption in 2009.
This is one of the findings from a recent IDC market survey sponsored by Novell.
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, with more than 68% making the same claim for the desktop.
The study surveyed more than 300 senior IT executives spanning manufacturing, financial services, and retail industries across the globe, as well as government agencies.
The main 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 organisations fight to cut costs and find value in this tough economic climate, Linux adoption will accelerate," says Michelle Beetar, country manager at Novell SA. "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 virtualisation is accelerating their adoption of Linux. Eighty-eight percent of recipients plan to evaluate, deploy or increase their use of virtualisation 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," says Al Gillen, program vice-president: system software at 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."