Collaboration software is probably the most popular form of open source software. The free email services, the social networking sites, CRM etc. are all examples of use of open source software for collaboration in different forms. However, the business software continue to be dominated by proprietary solutions.
While enterprises are willing to bring in open source software for the more horizontal applications like email and collaboration, there is lesser interest in using open source for vertical business applications such as ERP etc.
However, the scope of use of open source software is growing amongst enterprise customers. Collaboration software might be just the starting point. There is a growing adoption of a number of accessory collaboration tools (browsers, email and chat clients etc.) and office productivity suites (such as spread sheets, wordprocessors etc.) all driven chiefly by a need to lower the software cost for the business.
Jeff Hammond, Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, says that – “When it comes to Enterprise IT adoption, Open Source has “crossed the chasm”. His research show that Open Source Software is used in projects at all levels upto 80%.
He adds that open source software impacts all three: cost, capability and speed of integration. He says that Open source Software is in a phase of strategic adoption finding increasing adoption in critical business applications.