2009 'Future of Open Source' Annual Survey Results Announced at OSBC

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96 Percent of Respondents Agree that Open Source will Thrive in the Turbulent Economy

Open source software is becoming increasingly mainstream even at the enterprise level

San Francisco, CA March 24, 2009-- InfoWorld's Open Source Business Conference (OSBC) - Today at OSBC, a panel of top experts in the commercial open source industry, including executives from Acquia, Novell, Mozilla, Sun Microsystems, and SugarCRM, announced the results of the North Bridge Venture Partners' annual "Future of Open Source" survey. The survey results, collected from 435 respondents, bring to light a variety of significant issues and topics surrounding open source software, such as the impact of the economic recession, key market drivers, and predictions regarding the types of companies that will drive the next wave of commercial open source success.

"Open source software is becoming increasingly mainstream even at the enterprise level," said Tom Erickson, Acquia chairman and chief executive officer. "As an increasing number of companies emerge to provide commercial level support, we'll see the continued growth of open source software in the enterprise."

"What the survey shows is that customer motivations for adopting open source are clearly accelerated by the economic crisis. For organizations actively adopting open source solutions, lower costs, better quality and simpler maintenance have resulted in measurable ROI and rapid payback," said Michael J. Skok, general partner at North Bridge Venture Partners. "Disruptive business models are maturing in large markets like Web Content Management and Social Publishing, making it an attractive investment area for the team at North Bridge. However what the survey also shows is that much work remains to evangelize these benefits and establish a credible ecosystem to bring open source solutions to mainstream IT buyers."

Following are various key findings from the 2009 Future of Open Source survey:

  •     Approximately 96 percent of respondents feel the economy's turbulence is "good" for open source software, up from 81 percent in 2008.
  •     Almost 80% of respondents believe that open source software will make up greater than 25% of the software purchased in their organization.
  •     Respondents revealed that the top four factors that make open source software attractive include: lower acquisition and maintenance costs; superior security; freedom from vendor lock-in; and better quality software.
  •     The sectors expected to be most susceptible to disruption by open source software in the next five years include: database, operating systems, business intelligence and web content management.
  •     The sectors expected to be least susceptible to disruption by open source software in the next five years include: office productivity, security tools, and ERP/CRM.
  •     Respondents listed unfamiliarity with open source solutions, lack of internal technical skills, and lack of formal commercial vendor support as the top three barriers to the selection of open source software.
  •     The business strategies predicted to create the most value for open source vendors include subscription based technical support and professional services and consulting.

The 2009 Future of Open Source survey was developed collaboratively with input from a number of companies including Acquia, Black Duck, EnterpriseDB, Jaspersoft, Microsoft, Mozilla, Novell, Olliance Group, Red Hat, rPath, Sonatype, Sun Microsystems, Sugar CRM, and The 451 Group. To view the full survey results, please visit: http://acquia.com/northbridgesurvey2009.

About OSBC
InfoWorld's Open Source Business Conference (OSBC) is the industry's only forum for senior business leaders, C-level technical strategists, lawyers and venture capitalists to collaborate on emerging business models, strategies and profitability for open source software use. OSBC explores the legal, investment, vendor and customer risks, rewards and opportunities presented by open source software. The program will provide content-rich sessions from well-known thought leaders and industry executives on how open source technology is being used and will investigate the business implications of this technology. For additional details, please visit http://www.osbc.com.

About North Bridge Partners
North Bridge Venture Partners is an active, early-stage venture capital firm based in Boston, Massachusetts and San Mateo, California, founded in 1994. With approximately $3.1 billion under management, including North Bridge Growth Equity, a growth equity firm that invests in technology middle-market companies, North Bridge Venture Partners focuses on investments in the communications, software, internet, healthcare, and materials technology. Working closely with entrepreneurs, North Bridge adds value by providing strategic guidance, specific industry knowledge, team-building skills and an in-depth understanding of both private and public financings. North Bridge companies represented at OSBC include Acquia, Active Endpoints, Mozes, and rPath. For more information, visit North Bridge's website at http://www.northbridge.com

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