Too often I read that one cannot possibly move to GNU/Linux because there are certain applications that do not run on GNU/Linux. While there may be some truth to that it is overblown. A study reveals that “Some 60 percent of large companies say they are supporting more software than they need to run the business” and “Just 4 percent of the roughly 100 IT decision-makers polled consider every system they run to be “business-critical”. On the other hand “Almost 75 percent of small businesses said they have “just the right” number of applications, and another 23 percent said they don’t have enough”.

Where I last worked, out of 100 PCs there was only one application on one PC that required that other OS and it was a database running on MySQL. I moved the database for my own use to GNU/Linux and left “the application” behind.

This certainly means many more businesses could save a bunch of money moving a lot of PCs to GNU/Linux and they could move more by chucking unnecessary and duplicate applications. One organization claimed to support 10000 applications… That same organization may have had only 100 job descriptions so that is a lot of applications per person. What it means is that such an organization has merged or acquired smaller organizations and kept their IT systems intact. If they get quantity discounts they are probably paying too much for each application. An outfit with 10K employees should have a few programmers on staff to customize FLOSS to do what they want for a lot less money. Smaller organizations can probably do everything with FLOSS. Many do.

You can read 2011 Application Landscape by Capgemini here. A telling point of all this:

A full 56% of large and enterprise company respondents say that half or more of their applications are custom-developed.

There’s a clear place for FLOSS because, for internal use, they can use FLOSS components and add their own customization for least cost and have a single version for the whole organization instead of many versions.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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