Study : IT turning to Linux in economic downturn

From the ‘self serving study’ files:

A new report out today from IDC, sponsored by Linux vendor Novell indicates that the current economic downturn is a good thing for Linux adoption.

with more than half of the IT executives surveyed planning to accelerate Linux adoption in 2009.

This is definitely  something we’ve heard before from multiple open source and Linux vendors, but the IDC report puts some numbers to the premise.

According to IDC, in a poll of 300 IT professionals more than 72 percent reported that, “
they are either actively evaluating or have already decided to increase their adoption of Linux on the server in 2009.”

The numbers on the Linux desktop are equally encouraging with some 68 percent reporting they would be looking closely at adoption.

On the deep drill down of the IDC results, it looks like the retail industry is leading in term of the potential for Linux adoption (69 percent on server and 63 percent on the desktop).

A key driver for moving to Linux according to the study is virtualization — again no big surprise in my view. 88 percent of respondents reported that they ,”plan to evaluate, deploy or increase their use of virtualization software within Linux operating systems over the next 12-24 months.”

“Economic downturns have the tendency to accelerate emerging technologies, boost the adoption of effective solutions and punish solutions that are not cost competitive,” said Al Gillen, program vice president, system software, IDC in a statement. “This survey confirms that Linux users view it favorably, and this view places Linux in a competitive position to emerge from this downturn as a stronger solution.”

There are a few obvious problems with this survey – the first being the fact that it’s sponsored by a Linux vendor. I’m not saying that IDC skewed the results,but it is important to point out and be fair about who paid for the research.

The other interesting poing is the fact that Novell itself isn’t growing its own Linux business at quite the rate it wants – recession or not. That said the findings do show a postive trend and attitude towards Linux adoption, it will be interesting to see how that translates into increased revenues for Linux vendors like Novell as the year goes on.

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