SMEs Lead Linux Server OS Adoption Across India

Springboard Research states that Linux server operating system (OS) has grown its way to a prominent position in the Indian server OS market.

hidden July 12, 2010 11:52:51 IST
SMEs Lead Linux Server OS Adoption Across India

The Linux server operating system (OS) has grown its way to a prominent position in the Indian server OS market, with its adoption rate increasing from 7.0% to 8.1%, as per the Springboard Research. The rise in Linux adoption in India has been fuelled by procurements coming from a wide range of verticals including the government, education and enterprise segments.

Small and Medium Enterprises (1-999 devices) dominate the Linux server OS market with an adoption growth rate of 8.3%, 2.4 percentage points higher than that for large enterprises (>1,000 devices). Factors such as low cost of ownership, a perception of minimised security threats, lack of piracy-related issues and a strong online support community have been the main growth drivers for Linux adoption. Constrained by limited budgets, Linux proved to be the right product for SMEs who were looking for a solution that could help them meet their business goals at a low cost.

"An interesting trend that has gained momentum in the recent past is the SME demand for customised solutions. Today, enterprises look for products and solutions specifically designed to meet both their and their customers' needs and open-source solutions offer that flexibility," said Sameer Bhatnagar, Senior Research Analyst, Springboard Research. "Also, high technical skill availability is one of the key accelerators of greater Linux adoption in India."

Springboard's study notes that among all verticals, engineering led in Linux server OS adoption, with a healthy amount of Linux server OS installations coming from engineering, energy and entertainment sectors. Other verticals such as software, non-profit, education, government, BFSI (banking, financial services and insurance), and telecom have also actively started adopting open source solutions. Pricing coupled with a perception of strong server security are the key reasons for growing adoption of Linux-based servers across various verticals. This growing demand has led other OSS players like Red Hat and Novell, among others, to aggressively target the enterprise segment.

Despite the growing installed base of Linux servers across the large enterprise and SME segments, Windows still holds the upper hand in server OS adoption (91.8%) in India. In particular, Windows 2003 showed the highest adoption rate of 70%, an increase of 2.8 percentage points over a 12-month period.

"In spite of Linux's gains in the SME market, Microsoft's platforms continue to monopolise India's overall OS market and Linux is still only a distant threat, especially considering that many customers are not convinced of Linux support for mission-critical business requirements," said Manish Bahl, Director, India and Research Operations. "To make headway in the large enterprises segment, the priority should be to increase Linux awareness by building an ecosystem of ISVs that support deployment while training partners for better reach," Bahl added.

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