More than half of businesses have adopted 'some' open source

Of course we know that there are only lies, damn lies and statistics — and it’s worth remembering that fact before we consider looking at the broad brush claims made by a Gartner survey earlier this month, which “revealed” that more than half of organisations have adopted open source software as part of their IT strategy.

As worthy as the bulk of Gartner’s research undeniably is, one can’t help being sceptical about the generation of some of the analyst firm’s figures.

Thankfully, in this instance, we have a leveling statement from the industry. Open source application monitoring company Opsview says that despite this upbeat tone from Gartner, open source is still seen as the domain of the programmer.

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“Using legacy, proprietary software to address many of the pain points today’s businesses are facing is both difficult and expensive. There is a lot of good and customisable open source code out there that can help organisations address their high-level businesses challenges, yet awareness could still be a lot better. Like it or not, open source is still seen as the domain of the programmer or system administrator, so is still subsequently seen as low level in many businesses,” said James Peel, founder of Opsview.

“This impression is slowly starting to change and the growth in commercial open source companies is certainly helping to elevate open source’s standing in many organisations as they can deliver both the necessary resources and expertise. However, it is still important for open source companies to strike the balance between extending the code base to introduce more enterprise-grade enhancements, while at the same time still utilising the resources and best practice development methodologies of the traditional open-source world,” added Peel.

He concludes by saying that, “For instance we regularly input into the global Nagios open source project as that is the core code for our IT monitoring software. We are now working with several major global brands, that are using our open-source codebase to build custom monitors to track the performance and availability of their unique business systems. Doing this simply with legacy proprietary monitoring tools would have proved both highly complex and costly.”

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