An October study, to evaluate open source software enterprise adoption, conducted interviews with 132 senior business and IT executives from large companies in Europe that are already using open source products, and discovered that these companies are embracing a fundamentally different understanding of software.

The Hidden Backbone of The Software Industry

The analysis -- conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Bull -- was focused on enterprises already using open source, at least at a minimal level, which represent around 15 percent to 24 percent of enterprises in Europe and North America today.

The survey, according to a Bull release, shows that open source components are now ubiquitous. Users are well aware that commercial vendors are bringing open source into all enterprises, without even asking their customers, changing significantly from a complete commercial build to a mixed orchestration of open source and commercially licensed software. Twenty-two percent of the surveyed enterprises even prefer a pure open source environment.

While in the early days of open source software, it was mainly used for experimental software projects or prototyping, the survey shows that already 45 percent of all companies that are leveraging open source use it for mission-critical applications, services and products today.

Moreover, said Bull, the survey shows that open source is rapidly moving up the technology stack. While the usage of open source in the middleware software category is widely spread, the adoption of open source office productivity tools and business applications is constantly growing. An increasing percentage of the surveyed companies even adopted open source CRM (31 percent), BI (33 percent) and ERP systems (38 percent).