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Survey Confirms Strategic Importance of Open Source

The acquisition and deployment of open source software is now a strategic imperative for UK business, according to research released by Ingres. The Managing 21st Century Business Information survey questioned IT professionals from the UK's largest public sector and enterprise organisations on a host of open source and information management issues.

The report found that the versatility and adaptability of the open source model is allowing companies to eliminate historic vendor lock-in, reduce database management costs and rapidly develop critical business applications, including Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing and CRM solutions.

And open source is gaining in popularity. 77 percent of businesses were either planning to deploy, or had already deployed, open source software in their core business systems, shattering outdated preconceptions of the inappropriateness of such technology in a mission-critical enterprise environment.

The top three issues keeping IT Directors awake at night are 'reducing cost', 'adding value to the business' and 'Keeping the IT lights on' - while the drive to achieve real business benefit through rapid application delivery was a strong theme running through the findings.

With 89 percent of respondents rating the 'right database' as having a significant or critical role in addressing these challenges, the increasing demand for new, more flexible information management strategies is clear.

Further findings of the survey include:

*Exploding Security Myths: Two out of three IT professionals

believe that security is no more or less of an issue for open source software as it is in the closed source world

*Questions of Cost: Seven out of ten respondents agreed that open

source will deliver the cost savings that are now demanded from today's IT departments

*Licence Revoked: 69 percent of respondents believe closed

source software vendors cannot justify the high licence fees they typically charge

*Open Source Deployment: Despite the relative immaturity of the

open source database market, respondents believe developing and deploying applications is more straightforward on open source, than in the proprietary world

Commenting on the survey results, Brian Mort, Senior Vice President, Northern Europe, Ingres Corp., said: "There can be little doubt that open source has now moved out of the basement and into the boardroom.

Open source databases, for example, are already delivering real value in some of the world's most demanding and sensitive environments - from military, police and air-traffic control systems right through to telecommunications, utilities and financial services. To do so, open source had to grow up and offer the highest levels of service, support, security and enterprise-grade reliance, on top of the well documented business model flexibility and collaborative nature of product development.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.