Free and Open Source: Enterprise Support Is Needed

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 04-24-2013
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Free and Open Source: Enterprise Support Is Needed

Sales A Distant Second  After engineering and research and development, the sales department is most likely to use free and open source software, with 8% of divisions across sales saying they use it.

Free and open source software (FOSS) is one of those creatures that the technology industry often doesn’t understand. Some still see it as software that is made by a bunch of developers who sit in their home basement all day long and create new products. With help and support from the open source community, some of those programs have become industry standards. The truth is, though, FOSS can be extremely reliable and, regardless of who develops it, whether an amateur software developer or major corporation, it can come in very handy in the enterprise.

But coming in handy is a relative term, as shown by a recent study from Univa, a data center automation company. In its survey of 128 business and IT executives, the company discovered that while FOSS is nearly universally accepted in the enterprise, the vast majority of companies are having some trouble with it. What's worse, many of the problems are occurring in companies’ mission-critical areas of business.

A good number of respondents are so reliant upon FOSS that they are willing to pay for it if doing so would improve the overall quality and support.

"We have always said that users are willing to pay for quality when it comes to open source software, and the results of the survey have confirmed as such," says Univa CEO Gary Tyreman.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at


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