Small and medium businesses (SMBs) are expected to invest increasingly in Linux and open source technologies over the next five years. Growth will be particularly strong in key Asian and European markets where public government endorsements and policies are boosting visibility for Linux and open source. On a worldwide basis the number of Linux-owning SMBs is projected to rise from 1.2 million to 2.7 million businesses – a compounded annual growth rate of 18%.
The above findings were released by New York-based Access Markets International (AMI) Partners, Inc., a leading consulting firm specializing in IT, Internet, telecom and business services market intelligence, trends and strategy – with a strong focus on global small and medium business (SMB) enterprises.
Highlights from AMI’s Worldwide SMB Linux Forecast include the following:
ï Linux desktop shipments are expected to grow at a CAGR of 39% over the five-year forecast period on a worldwide basis.
ï Linux desktop installed-base growth will be driven primarily by MBs and larger SBs over the forecast period, advancing at a rate of 23%.
ï On a worldwide basis 4% of PC-owning SMBs are expected to adopt Linux, representing 6% of the SMB desktop installed base by 2008.
ï Server shipments are expected to grow at a CAGR of 34%, accounting for approximately 6% of the total SMB server installed base by 2008.
Recent survey findings from AMI-Partners show that Linux is gaining interest and share among SMBs. “Increasing support by brand-name vendors and expanded awareness among SMBs are helping drive adoption of Linux in this market,” said Abhijeet Rane, Senior Vice President at AMI. “Asian and European SMBs in particular are very interested in Linux and open source applications because of the cost benefits,” added Mr. Rane.
Key Market Drivers
The growing interest in open source – and Linux in particular – is the result of a number of factors. It is the cumulative effect of these issues that has led to the tremendous interest in and growing adoption of Linux among SMBs worldwide:
ï Increasing Cost of IT SMBs are ever more reliant on increasingly expensive IT products and services for managing their businesses. This expanded investment has resulted in higher expenditures, leading SMBs to seek free open source alternatives.
ï Open Standards and Freedom from Vendor Lock-in Open source software generally adheres to standards better than proprietary software, reducing reliance on vendor-specified file formats.
ï Government Policies Open endorsement by Asian and European governments is giving credibility to Linux and open source.
ï Blue Chip Support Products and support available from brand-name vendors such as IBM, HP and Novell lend credibility and increase confidence among SMBs.
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