Survey in ComputerEconomics — real or BS?

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Budgeting
Linux
Vendors
Making a business case for moving to Linux. I found this survey in Computer Economics and can't believe the results so I'm asking here to see if they got it right or were just full of it. (I'll reveal what they said in another post and give you a link if somebody will guess and provide a sanity check for me.) Here's the survy question: What's the most compelling advantage for open source? Choices are: - Lower total cost of ownership - Reduced dependence on software vendors - Easier to customize - Higher level of security - Do not see a significant advantage They had one answer show up as most compelling (overwhelmingly) and I just don't feel confident enough sticking it in my report. If one of you guys picks the same reason I'll eat my words and use it in report. Which of the above is the most compelling reason for moving to open source?

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I’d pick the “Reduced dependence on software vendors “.
It’s hard enough being responsive to business opportunities, but even moreso when you’re locked in to a vendor’s proprietary solution set. Frequently even your data is locked into a proprietary format, preventing switching to alternatives or sharing with others (divisions, clients, partners, etc).

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  • Chrkc123
    Higher security.
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  • Chrkc123
    Higher security.
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  • Kurtworks
    Of course it depends on the enviroment you are coming from. If you are a MS shop then security may improve. But if you are an AS400 shop them maybe not so much. What ever solution you choice management will want it up and running 24 x 7, does your organization have the skill sets to support a new enviroment. A few training classes will help but there is still a long learning curve toward expertise.
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  • Wshort
    Higher Security.
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  • Mgagnon
    I would say one of the first 2 choices, depending of the culture of the company. If the CIO is part of the board = reduce dependency to vendor; if no CIO or IT is a branch under CFO responsibility = lower cost of ownership. Regarding the dependency to vendor, back in the mid 90's when company were implementing vendor ERP's, the benefits sold by vendor to CEO at that time was around the establishment of "best practices" from leading industries and standardization. Times changed, and now the best practive is to innovate and have something different that will put you ahead of the competition. With proprietary software, you have to fight against vendor to have them include a functionality in their package, or wait "long" time for the next release. Organization are now limited in their actions since they are very dependent to vendor, and most of them have the culture of "service provider". Until they will understand that the best long term growth strategy is to support properly customers and become a "strategic partner" (that means sharing gain ans loss) with their customers, that will enforce the trend of shifting to open source in the next 5 years or more I think. Until the actual generation of leader with "make the most profit as soon as possible, should you neglect your customer" approach will retire... So if you have the chance of having vendor representives that are acting like a company member, think twice before moving to open source. If not, you'll probably have benefits to have more freedom... Don't look too much of what others are doing in terms of business case, stay close to your business.
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  • Bobkberg
    Higher security Reduced dependence on software vendors BUT... I would guess that a frightening number of executives would pick TCO - with no clue as to what's hidden in Pandora's box... Bob
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  • BlueKnight
    I agree with Bob: Higher security Reduced dependence on software vendors but given that I am primarily a mainframe guy (zOS, MVS, VM etc.) these days, I'd flip the order since the mainframe typically doesn't have the security exposure that Windows and UNIX servers have had. I suspect that the survey you mentioned will have TCO as the #1 answer... I'd also hazard a guess that those who ranked TCO as #1 haven't a clue and would be unable to support their response with any sensible logic. Bob is right on the money. Jim
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  • CalendarGirl
    The survey said less dependence on vendors. After reading your responses, I'm a little more convinced that independence from vendors may be an important reason...but am still leaning towards security as being my best argument. Thanks everyone. Here's a link to the survey that got me going. http://www.computereconomics.com/article.cfm?id=1043
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  • Skp02in
    Open source may significantly bring down TCO and can be secure solution provided, right expertise is put in configuration management, there are bugs, holes in open source too..one should always keep himself/herself updated on lastest fixes available. Open source can be handy to small and medium enterprises who cannot afford much of costlier solutions.....but support in opensource may be of issue...
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  • Bjbiernatowski
    When thinking about moving to Linux you may want to consider the availability of talent to support/develop or design BUSINESS quality IT systems based on this OS. Despite all positive technical aspects of running Linux there may be more people who are certified on Microsoft platform. Linux certs are catching up as well although they have not been around as long as Microsoft's. As to higher security, there are very recent reports comparing security of both Windows vs. Linux and I think that MS was much quicker in addressing security problems. Look for it on the next, I think this study was done by one of the US universities this year.
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