Open source might be gaining customers but it is being deployed in a fairly ad hoc way by a significant number of firms.
According to a worldwide study looking into the adoption of open source carried out by Gartner the lower cost of ownership and flexibility of the software was seen to be an advantage but only a third of those quizzed had a formal policy of introducing the technology.
Over the last five years the analyst house has been tracking the adoption of open source software and watched its penetration increase from less than 10% in 2006 to what should reach 30% in the next 18 months. The rate of deployment of proprietary products has decreased by the same margins over that time period.
Laurie Wurster, research director at Gartner, said that users were starting to add, along with cost reductions and ease of deployment, another reason for choosing open source: "Gaining a competitive advantage has emerged as a significant reason for adopting [open source] suggesting users are beginning to look at it differently."
That difference could present the channel with an opportunity on the developer front as firms start to look to develop their own code to integrate it with off-the-shelf open source systems.
James Peel, founder of Opsview, said that it was encouraging to see wider adoption of open source and customers were starting to change their attitudes towards the software.
"Open-source is simply a different commercial model and in many cases a lot of the software is of equal, if not better, quality than the traditional proprietary software from the big vendor," he said.
"Many organisations are now realising that the community-led approach of open source can lead to faster development times, which can in turn help them become more agile organisations," he added.