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Open Source Enters the Mainstream According to Findings from the Actuate Annual Open Source Survey for 2008

Actuate Corporation (NASDAQ: ACTU), the leader in delivering Rich Internet Applications Without Limits™, today revealed a preview of some of the findings of its Actuate Annual Open Source Survey for 2008 conducted across the UK, North America, Germany and France. The survey, now in its third year, provides a global benchmark of attitudes and trends in open source growth and adoption; this year extending to include France, a region that along with Germany is spearheading Europe’s advances in open source software adoption with the UK and North America showing steady, consistent growth.

The 2008 Actuate Annual Open Source Survey confirms that Europe in particular is forging ahead in widespread adoption of open source software, having recognised early on the lower cost of ownership, and the flexibility it offers for future application expansion and development.

Exploring in depth organisations’ use of and attitudes towards open source, across four important territories, the findings categorically confirm that open source software is not a “here today, gone tomorrow” phenomenon, rather it has been broadly recognised and embraced for its ability to offer organisations sustained competitive advantage. These findings support Gartner’s projections that, by 2012, at least 80% of all commercial software solutions will include substantive open source components.

Close to 1,000 business and IT professionals took part in this year’s survey which was independently conducted by Survey Interactive in June 2008 and gathered significant responses from Financial Services and Public Sector markets in the UK, North America and Germany. France and Germany also surveyed the Manufacturing Sector in their respective countries. The survey concentrated on three key areas within open source software; awareness and adoption levels, benefits and barriers to adoption; and the evolution of open source Business Intelligence.

Speaking of the rigorous methodology that underpins the Actuate Annual Open Source Survey, Guy Lipscombe, Managing Director of Survey Interactive commented, “Since this Actuate survey was first launched in 2005, it has evolved to become a benchmark for usage and attitudes towards Open Source software. We employ an online survey methodology inviting individuals to participate in the research. All survey completions are then subjected to Survey Interactive’s rigorous data cleansing techniques to validate responses and to ensure integrity of data. This independent approach speaks volumes for the validity of the Actuate annual Open Source Software survey findings.”

Survey Highlights

• The figures show that Europe leads the way in its preference for open source platforms, particularly in the deployment of new applications, and replacement of outdated systems, with France and Germany at the forefront.

• When French respondents were asked about the extent to which open source software (OSS) is considered when procuring software, close to two-thirds (61.6%) stated that it is either the preferred option, or explicitly considered as an option when procuring software. This is a significant statistic, exceeded only by Germany (63.6%).

• The findings tally with those of analysts including Forrester, which reported earlier this year that Europe is leading in the adoption of enterprise open source. This years Actuate Annual Open Source Survey confirms that just over half (51%) of German respondents are actively using OSS, 43% for the UK, 42% for France and 40% for North America.

• Digging deeper into organisations’ approaches to OSS, Actuate found, in the UK, that the proportion of respondents believing that the benefits of Open Source software outweigh the inhibitors has increased this year to 54.0% (from 45.3% in 2007). This figure rises to 65.4% in France, North America 53.5% and Germany 48.6%

• Persisting barriers to adoption include a lack of in-house skills to implement OSS (cited by 58.2%) – overtaking perceived issues with the availability of long-term support. This suggests not only that more organisations have progressed further with their investigations into the value of open source, to have come to this conclusion, but also that the skills are harder to find because of the greater adoption of OSS across businesses generally.

Nobby Akiha is Actuate’s SVP of Marketing and is driving this worldwide research initiative. “Once again this has been a tremendous survey surpassing last year’s response rate by more than a third. The findings confirm that open source is not a passing fad, but is being broadly recognised and embraced as offering organisations sustained competitive advantage. What’s more, Europe is leading the way, spearheaded by the substantial markets of Germany and France.”

The Actuate Annual Open Source Survey is highly regarded amongst industry analysts and global publishers as a solid benchmark of global open source trends. Findings from the research have consistently achieved widespread coverage from many influential IT and business publications worldwide. A full report detailing the findings from each region will be available at the end of September. Early copies of this report will be made available to journalists, analysts and editors through registration with Actuate’s PR contact, listed with this release.