For years, the analyst community has largely ignored open source or, worse, has actively advised against it. While there are exceptions--Forrester, The 451 Group, Redmonk--the general mood in the analyst community seems to be one of.
Ignoring open source is a bit like denying gravity, however, and even open-source agnostics like IDC and Gartner are now stating the obvious:
Open source is having a massive impact on enterprise computing, and it's becoming big business.
IDC, for example, significantly revised upward its estimate of the market size for open-source solutions, now projecting a 22.4 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to hit $8.1 billion by 2013. The firm suggests that the revision is due to the surprising growth of open source through the economic downturn. It's unclear why this should have been a surprise, especially given that but...we'll take it.
Gartner, for its part, started warming up to open source in 2008 when its conversations with chief information officers revealed. In 2007 the closest it came to recognizing open source's impact was to suggest that .
But now it has done the unthinkable: it has actually included an open-source vendor (GroundWork) in its Magic Quadrant, and in a positive way.
This is positive movement from Gartner and reflects a new pragmatism. I consider Forrester a leading indicator--at least, among the big analyst firms--of where technology is going, and its open-source predictions bear this out. Gartner and IDC tend to be lagging indicators of technology adoption.
The good news? For open source, leading and lagging indicators now say the same thing: "Open source is having a major impact on computing and will continue to shake up the industry."
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