More than half of UK private and public sector organisations will spend at least 20% of their IT budget on open source applications and software within the next five years, this is the claim arising from an Open for Business study, conducted by IT service provider Reconnix,
A total of 61% of respondents intend to invest 20% or more into open source.
The majority (48%) expect to invest between 20% - 40%.
A smaller 10% of firms believe that their open source spend could account for as much as 60% of their total budget.
NOTE: Now of course it is important to remember that most industry surveys are contrived excuses for publicity or no more worth than your average piece of PR puff and fluff put about by firms who have no solid product or customer related news to offer or share.
This piece of research may have some worth though as it also asserts that the barriers to open source adoption are rife.
Nearly half of IT leaders questioned (47%) said that cost implications and another 43% that vendor lock in are current barriers to the adoption of open source technology.
These leaders also indicated that a lack of in-house skills to implement open source solutions was holding them back, while 55% of IT leaders also agreed that that there is little to no understanding of open source amongst C-level decision makers outside of the IT department - potentially making it harder to justify investment into this technology to the executive level.
"While open source is definitely on the agenda for IT leaders, many seem hesitant to invest in it as a priority, preferring to put it off as a challenge to resolve in the medium term," explains Steve Nice, CTO of Reconnix.
In March of 2011, the Cabinet Office introduced a directive that open source systems should be selected ahead of proprietary systems on the basis of flexibility for public sector IT projects (where the open source solution was not more expensive in terms of cost).
While this directive has recently been changed to level the playing field between open source and existing proprietary vendors, the research revealed that in the next five years as much as 45% of IT leaders in the public sector will invest 20-40% of their overall budgets into open source technology.
Cost effectiveness and flexibility of IT projects is an issue for right now, not something that can be pushed off into the long grass to be dealt with at a later date - which is why investment in open source will continue to grow," added Nice.