CIOs Jumping On The Free Software Bandwagon

from the good-for-them dept

For years, we've heard claims that, for all the wonders of "free software," the "real" CIO would never use free software, as they would need to have a clear monetary relationship with the provider to ensure things wouldn't go bad. Of course, that's pretty silly. Lots of IT departments have made use of all sorts of free software such as Linux and Apache, but a new study suggests that CIOs are quite comfortable with using free software, finding that "76% of CIOs surveyed say they use free software at the enterprise level and 88% said they have free software deployed at the department level."

Now some of this may be driven by standard free utilities like Adobe Reader, but many CIOs reports using things like OpenOffice, Google Docs, Skype and others. In fact, the study found that 54% of the CIOs for large organizations admitted to using more than 10 free software products (if you drop it to six or more, the number goes up to 84%). CIOs seemed split down the middle in preferring open source software to proprietary but still free products, which isn't really a huge surprise.

Not surprisingly, the CIOs who use so much free software say it's not just the "free" part that makes this happen. They still put the software through the same testing they put fee-based software, but 81% also admit that not having to pay license fees is one of the "key benefits" to going free.

While this might not be all that surprising overall, it is a pretty good view of the general impression of "free software" in the enterprise, suggesting that it's hardly a taboo or something to be avoided.

Filed Under: cios, free, free software, software


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, 12 Feb 2010 @ 1:28pm

    Small vs Big Businesses

    Another point is, as soon as you start talking about “CIOs”, you’re immediately assuming corporations of a certain size. It’s worth pointing out that the lion’s share of the world’s GDP comes from small businesses, not large ones.

    Most of my work has been for small businesses, where the boss owns the company. Such outfits have less vested interests in large deployments of proprietary software, and they find it easier to understand the benefits of Free Software, including lower compliance costs in having to keep track of licences. You don’t need to ask anyone’s permission before making a radical change to your system configuration, you just do it.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: I Invented Email
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.