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Open Source Services Follow Software Lead

Based on the findings from a recent survey, IDC forecasts that open source software and related services will continue to expand in importance to end-user organizations.

Additionally, almost 60 percent of the survey respondents said their company's spending on open source increased in 2007, in terms of relative percentage of IT spending.

Quality assurance, testing, and certification of open source systems was rated as the fastest-growing services opportunity by respondents, who projected their spending on this service would grow 150 percent between 2007 and 2008.

"The economic slowdown in the United States may actually boost demand for open source services," said Gard Little, program manager, IDC's Worldwide Services and Emerging Services Opportunities research programs. "If organizations adopt more open source software as part of a strategy to reduce software costs, the demand for related services should increase."

IDC predicts more pure service providers will be driven to forge alliances or partnerships with leading open source technology vendors or development communities to stay top-of-mind with end-user organizations.

This is because pure service providers ranked lower than IT product vendors in terms of respondents' plans to use external service providers, and because pure service providers generally ranked lower on the attribute of open source-related service innovation.

Key findings of the IDC study include:

- Cost savings remained the number one reason for respondents to adopt open source software.

- The service opportunity around open source remains with medium-sized and larger organizations. Respondents from companies with 1,000-9,999 employees reported the highest percentages in spending for 2007 across all services categories except support.

- Respondents believe the biggest challenge vendors face in delivering open source-related services is integrating open source and proprietary software components.

- Technology vendors generally have a leg up when compared to pure service providers in terms of respondents' plans to acquire external services, and respondent's perceptions of who provides the most innovative services related to open source software.

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