More than 75 per cent of IT decision makers agree on the integrity and trustworthiness of Open Source

According to a new study by the Ponemon Institute and Zimbra, more than 75 per cent of IT professionals agree that code transparency increases the trustworthiness of a software application. And, two thirds believe it improves security and reduces privacy risks.

Findings from the survey, which was conducted in 18 countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa as well as the United States, show that 67 per cent of IT professionals in EMEA and 74 per cent in the US agree that commercial open source outperforms proprietary software when it comes to business continuity. However, IT practitioners in EMEA and the US disagree on matters of security and privacy. Throughout the study, there is evidence that EMEA organisations are more concerned with the privacy consequences of messaging and collaboration, while US organisations focus more on security.

Common among IT professionals is dissatisfaction with their current collaboration and messaging platforms, the majority of which are proprietary software solutions. Consequently, 52 per cent of EMEA respondents and 55 per cent of US respondents say their organisations will be replacing their messaging and collaboration solutions within two years.

‘One of the most interesting survey results was the slow adoption of open source messaging and collaboration software, despite IT professionals’ resounding trust in open source software,’ said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute. ‘With the majority of deployments being proprietary solutions and the sentiment largely negative, I would expect to see increased interest in new solutions that are based on commercial open source.’

Key Findings

Commercial open source outperforms proprietary software in continuity, quality and control.

67 per cent of EMEA IT professionals agree that commercial open source software offers better business continuity.

60 per cent of IT practitioners in EMEA believe commercial open source software will boost quality and 57 per cent agree that it offers greater control compared to proprietary software.

The ability to lower costs is no longer the main point of differentiation for open source software. IT professionals rank business continuity, quality and control above cost; however, open source outperforms proprietary software across all attributes.

Employees increase privacy and security risks.

Employees are more likely to put their organisations’ messaging and collaboration solutions at risk.

According to IT professionals in EMEA:

  • 79 per cent of employees do not follow company policy on sharing confidential documents.
  • 71 per cent of employees use unauthorised messaging and collaboration applications.
  • 69 per cent of employees send and receive files not intended for them.

IT professionals’ dissatisfaction with proprietary software is an opportunity for open source

  • 65 per cent of EMEA IT professionals are only somewhat or are not satisfied with their current messaging and collaboration solutions, the majority of which come from proprietary software vendors.
  • 52 per cent of IT professionals in EMEA plan to replace their messaging and collaboration solutions within two years.
  • Vendor reputation and support are the most important factors for selecting a messaging and collaboration solution according to 60 per cent of IT professionals in EMEA.

‘There is significant opportunity for open source to play a central role in the future of security and privacy,’ said Rob Howard, Zimbra CTO. ‘And, the research supports a trend that we see in our own business: open source provides way more benefit than cost savings alone.’

‘Open source delivers on quality and control, it empowers IT to make an impact on more than just the bottom line,’ concluded Howard.

The full report, The Open Source Collaboration Study: Viewpoints on Security and Privacy in the US and EMEA is available today. Visit Zimbra.com to read the report: http://info.zimbra.com/zimbra-ponemon-survey-en

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