Business Sees A Payoff in Open-Source Investment

Here's some interesting news that ought to get the open-source community jazzed: New data from research firm Computer Economics shows the vast majority of businesses that implement open-source applications are able to demonstrate a positive return on their investment within two years.

According to the survey, business adoption of open-source applications such as CRM and ERP is relatively low with less than one-quarter of the respondents engaged in actual open-source deployments. (Another 20 percent are either considering or piloting such project.) However, 65 percent of the early adopters saw positive ROI within two years and another 30 percent broke even on their open-source investment.

Those statistics certainly will resonate with VARs who provide and support open-source solutions to the SMB market. They show that the financial risk of such deployment is relatively low, while the opportunity is robust. Can open source make headway against traditional vendor supported, commercial software packages? I'd certainly think so, given the minimal financial risk for customers. With the industry in general moving in a more open direction, with cloud computing and managed services rising, and with an economic downturn at hand, it would seem open-source software has the chance to gain real momentum.

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