News flash: CIOs believe the world is flat, and that they won't deploy more Linux this year

Linux is going to continue to proliferate, whatever a few naysaying CIOs may think.

Matt Asay Contributing Writer
Matt Asay is a veteran technology columnist who has written for CNET, ReadWrite, and other tech media. Asay has also held a variety of executive roles with leading mobile and big data software companies.
Matt Asay
2 min read

Ah, silly CIOs. According to InformationWeek, they apparently believe they can defy gravity and the inevitable march of Linux. Note to CIOs: the battle is over. You have won, even when you insist on losing (i.e., trying to cleave to the old world of proprietary software).

You've won because your teams are already deploying Linux (and other open-source software) widely within your enterprises. You just need to decide whether or not to pay for certified, supported versions. Open source is winning precisely because it doesn't require bureaucracy to permit its use.

But let's get into the details of the report, which Savio Rodrigues and Matthew Aslett have already started picking apart.

As the report notes, even within enterprises where Linux is being used, it has only achieved an 8% penetration rate. We should therefore expect tremendous growth within these enterprises, just as was reported earlier today relative to the French Ministry of Education's adoption of Linux. Get a little, want a lot, and eventually adopt a lot.

On this, Savio writes:

Setting aside the Linux adoption question, we should consider the Linux usage & revenue question. The analyst doesn't appear to address the growing use of Linux in shops that already use Linux; the whole, 'try it, like it, use more' scenario. Also not accounted is whether the 10% who are going to adopt Linux will add one copy each or add 100 copies each.

Bingo. As for who actually participated in the survey, Matthew writes:

It's also worth taking a second look at who the survey respondents are: these are CIOs that have no Linux anywhere within their organizations - just the sort of late adopters you would expect to being holding out against future adoption.

I'm not surprised that people who erroneously believe they will not adopt Linux anytime soon (even though they already have) also believe that this erroneous belief will continue for at least another year. But let's be frank: who cares? As Linux continues to be massively adopted (even within the group that is already using Linux overtly), eventually it will rub off on these holdouts. They will come around both because of external pressure and because of internal pressure stemming from adoption within the walls of their own enterprise.

The survey probably means well. It just doesn't tell us anything that we didn't already know. Linux adoption too slow, not to slow. :-)