Open-Source Apps Adoption: Cost Is Key For SMBs

But large companies and SMBs have different considerations and reasons for adopting open-source software. The Evans research showed that among SMBs, cost is a key concern when it comes to the decision about adopting open-source software. For enterprise companies, however, factors such as product features, support and the development community associated with the product are bigger concerns. Price is a relatively less important consideration among enterprise firms, while support is less important to SMBs.

When it comes to support, most companies (large or small) that intend to run open-source systems said they are planning to provide their own support internally. Less than 20 percent of enterprise firms and 10 percent of SMBs intend to look to external source to provide open-source support.

SMBs often look to open-source software to provide flexible point solutions, while enterprise firms are more focused on using open source to standardize software across company.

According to the Evans study, the use of open-source software among large firms is growing as they become less concerned about factors such as product stability.

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Open source also is expanding rapidly in the software development community. A separate Evans study, for example, showed that 56 percent of North American programmers are using open-source modules in their applications, up from only 38 percent four years ago. There are currently about 1.7 million open-source developers in North America, Evans found.