Survey: Linux Plays Subordinate Role in SMEs

Nov 23, 2007

A recent survey by Techconsult reveals that Linux is currently deployed by less than one in five mid-sized enterprises.

The survey was targeted at commercial deciders in a total of 2000 small to mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) with between 20 and 500 staff. Only 17 percent of all respondents reported that they use Linux as a server operating system. According to the analysts the bigger the enterprise becomes, the more interested it is likely to be in Linux. 28 percent of companies with 200 to 499 employees said that the free operating system was important, compared to 21 percent of companies with between 100 and 199 employees. Linux is very much underrepresented in companies with between 50 and 99 employees; according to the respondents, less than one in ten uses Linux. According to TechConsult the results confirm the findings of previous surveys which revealed that the free operating system is used more in larger enterprises. Only 15 percent anticipate Linux playing a more significant role in enterprise IT than today. Interestingly the smallest enterprises with 20 to 49 staff take the most positive view of Linux’ future. One in five thinks that Linux could be more important for their company in future.

According to the market researchers, these results contradict other recent surveys that targeted IT heads rather than commercial staff. Techconsult concludes that the differences between the results are attributable to commercial stakeholders not being aware of the operating systems running on internal servers. Current findings by analysts reveal that IT landscapes are highly heterogeous. IT deciders often choose Linux for infrastructure functionality, such as Web, file and print servers, a fact that is transparent for commercial deciders. Based on statements by respondents, TechConsult concludes that it may take awhile for less technologically-oriented staff to perceive Open Source solutions as a genuine alternative to proprietary sytems.

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