France: Almost entire public sector is using open source
Almost the entire public sector, 96 percent, is using open source, says a French market survey. The most used applications are database management systems and content management systems.
A research firm, Markness, presented a summary of its report on the use of open source in France on 17 September in Paris. It is based on an on-line survey during in the summer months followed-up by interviews with 160 IT project directors, heads of procurement and other IT decision makers, half of which are employed in the private sector and the other half representing the public sector. Another fifty interviews were held with IT vendors.
Next to running databases and web sites, open source is mostly used for IT administration. Markness expects that in 2011 some 63 percent of firms and organisations will use open source office applications.
The major reason for using open source is that the products are mature, replied 77 percent of the participants to the survey. Second most heard argument, at 67 percent, is that it offers independence from IT suppliers. Interoperability and the development of public policies are reasons given by 48 and 43 percent of the participants.
Using open source requires firms and organisations to seek technical assistance and support, said 54 and 44 percent of the respondents. It also requires changes to their IT maintenance, said 38 percent.
The research firm says that half of the respondents say that the current financial crisis is not a reason to switch to open source. However, to 39 percent this did make it more of an option. In 2011, open source will take up less than 20 percent of the IT budget of public sector institutes.
Markness expects the French open source IT market to grow by more than 16 percent in 2011.