Judging by some of the comments to my blog posts, one would expect that lack of applications would be the prime reason for not migrating to FLOSS but it seems the real world sees things differently. A survey in 2010 found these reasons:
Shocking, eh? Lack of functionality is in third place with 16% of respondents. Hey! Only 1% claimed that satisfaction with non-Free software was holding them back! I’ll buy that!
The biggie is lack of knowledge. That does not surprise me as most of the bosses I have had were quite incompetent at choosing IT. They almost always asked someone else and, if that person knows little or nothing about FLOSS, you get what you get. 26% of organizations found no barrier at all. That suggests that if we can fix the “knowledge” part, the other barriers would only affect 48% of organizations. I think “knowing FLOSS” would fix some of those “company policies”, too. In my experience going to FLOSS does free up a lot of resources, so we are down to ~20% of organizations with real rather than imagined barriers to migration.
I did a bit of fixing knowledge by exposing students and staff of K-12 schools to GNU/Linux. We sure freed up resources by bringing “dead” machines back to life and getting better and more reliable service from our PCs. Only a few schools have an official policy against FLOSS. Many just don’t know.