The hidden message

I feel sure I didn’t take from this article the message the author had intended. The title heralds woeful news: software sales are down – gnash! – and UK sales are foundering – oh no! Glossing over for now the enormous issues behind this comment from the magnificently named Fabrizio Biscotti of Gartner:

the UK has seen less enterprise software sales recently because the government has chopped so many of the country’s IT projects

…if you read on you learn several rather interesting things. The first is that:

25 per cent of the software market in Western Europe comes from the UK

…which suggests that our work in promoting the joys of open source software is far from done. Biscotti goes on to say:

Europe’s enterprise software sales were also slowing down as more businesses opt for open-source technology

He mentions the cloud as being partly to blame too. His most noteworthy comments though, from our point of view, were these two closely related points:

The SME market in particular is looking for lower cost alternatives to keep going…many IT customers have lost loyalty to the big proprietary vendors during the recession. The large vendors increased their maintenance costs in the recession, leaving customers with less money, but more to pay in maintenance. There are a good number of disgruntled customers out there, so vendor loyalty has been falling.

If Gartner is saying it, it must be true. It’s a shame that open source is portrayed in a rather LibDem light, ie where people storm off to in a huff with traditional services, but clearly open source stands to benefit hugely from the increased uptake from UK SMEs, and in turn UK SMEs stand to benefit hugely from the increased uptake in open source. It’s hard to feel sorry for the big proprietary vendors really, especially as the article goes on to make it clear that they’re still doing fairly well, just without the support of many UK companies that have moved on to better things. The next step now for those companies is to move over to UK-based energy efficient open source hosting.

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