Open source software market poised for growth
A recent study from research outfit IDC Corp. has found that the market for standalone open source software (OSS) is growing significantly — but don’t expect revenues to keep up with adoption rates. The study found that worldwide revenue from standalone OSS reached $1.8 billion in 2006. This revenue will climb to $5.8 billion in 2011, representing a compound annual growth rate of 26 per cent from 2006 to 2011, IDC predicted. IDC defined standalone OSS as being distributed or sold on its own, rather than being embedded in or sold as a complementary offering with other software.
The degree of expected growth for OSS shouldn’t be surprising for those who have been watching adoption increase over the last few years, according to Matt Lawton, Toronto-based program director of IDC’s Open Source Software Business Models research program. “That kind of growth is easier to obtain when…adoption of open source software is starting to take hold in a commercial environment that is looking to pay for subscriptions, support around that software and other services.”
Adoption has climbed as recognition and acceptance of Linux as a “prime and leading example of open source software” has grown, said Lawton. But in the last year or two, OSS activity has moved up the software stack, reaching the application deployment and development tools arena. The JBoss Application Server, developed by the Red Hat-sponsored open source middle community JBoss.org, is a good example, Lawton said. OSS has climbed even higher up the stack into the realm of applications such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM). “We’re starting to see that vendors are producing (OSS apps), a community is developing around them, and customers are starting to adopt them,” he said. Leading examples of OSS apps include SugarCRM, webERP, ERP5 as well as Compiere, an integrated ERP/CRM solution.
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