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39% of financial services companies using open source software - Actuate

13 October 2005  |  4109 views  |  0 Source: Actuate

Actuate Corporation (NASDAQ: ACTU), the world leader in Enterprise Reporting Applications and pioneers of the Open Source Business Intelligence project, BIRT (business intelligence reporting tools), today announced the early findings of its Open Source software awareness and adoption survey targeted exclusively at the UK financial services market.

The survey, which was conducted through Survey.com during September 2005, provides insights and perspective into how financial services organisations perceive Open Source software, its benefits and inhibitors and how they plan to harness the technology in the future. Thousands of senior financial services professionals were targeted to gather input for this unique snapshot of Open Source software adoption trends in the UK.

The financial services market is recognised amongst the UK's largest investors in information technology and is a traditional early adopter of new technologies. Actuate's business intelligence products are widely deployed in 19 of the 21 Fortune 100 Financial Services companies. Their extensive reporting requirements demand real time operational visibility, extensive scalability and comprehensive customer intelligence that supports regulatory compliance and directly increases the loyalty and retention of their customers.

The Actuate survey yielded responses from financial services organisations in the UK with over half its respondents split between the banking and insurance sectors. A sizeable response was also secured from investment banking, asset management and retail banking sectors. The 141 respondents represent large and medium financial services companies with almost half from Global 9,000 organisations (companies with annual revenues greater than $1 billion).

The study concentrates on three key areas; Open Source software awareness and adoption levels, Open Source software benefits and barriers to its adoption; and thirdly Open Source software adoption influences and Open Source Business Intelligence. The survey also addresses the impact that the availability of Open Source Insurance has had on overcoming perceived inhibitors to its adoption.

Survey highlights include:
Open Source software awareness

  • Only one-fifth of respondents (19%) describe their organisation's level of familiarity with Open Source software as "high", with a further 40.1% rating it as "moderate". One-third of respondents (34.5%) think their organisation's level of familiarity with Open Source software is "low".
  • Interestingly 62.5% of Investment Banking respondents considered their awareness of Open Source software as "high" which is significantly higher than any other sector in the survey.
  • Two-fifths of companies (39.4%) are already using Open Source software. A further 5.6% are currently in the process of adopting it, with a similar proportion having plans to adopt. Only 9.2% are not monitoring developments and have no plans to adopt.

Open Source software benefits and barriers to adoption

  • The main perceived benefits of Open Source software is that there are no licence costs (55%), closely followed by being vendor independent (49.3%) and flexibility (47.1%).
  • Availability of long term support (58.2%) is seen as the main barrier to adopting Open Source technologies followed by the related issue of availability of long-term maintenance (44.7%).
  • The proportion of respondents who feel that the benefits of Open Source software outweigh the inhibitors (50%) far exceeds the proportion that does not believe this (18.3%).

Open Source software adoption influences and Open Source Business Intelligence

  • When asked to describe their company's attitude to the adoption of new technologies, the majority (55.6%) say that they wait until new technology is proven before adopting. One quarter (24.6%) believe that they are early adopters, while only 4.2% view themselves as pioneers. Once again respondents from Investment banking identify themselves as early adopters (68%)
  • Three quarters of respondents (74.5%) are not aware that there is now insurance available for Open Source software and two-fifths of respondents (38.7%) believe that the availability of insurance will have a favourable/very favourable influence on their thinking about using Open Source software.
  • Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools are rated as either "Very important" or "Important" to their company by the overwhelming majority of respondents (86.6%). One-quarter (23.9%) say that they are "Likely/very likely" to consider using an Open Source Business Intelligence and Reporting Tool in future.


The survey also covers insights into which Open Source technologies are in use in the distinct financial services sectors and which areas of IT would most benefit from Open Source software adoption.

Mike Thoma is Actuate's Vice President of Product Marketing and is also the company spokesperson for the BIRT project since it was announced in 2004. "We are delighted with the response that we have received from top tier financial services companies who have taken the time to respond to our survey and provide such valuable insight into how they use, and plan to use, open source software. We also welcome the extensive interest that we have received from publishers and journalists and we look forward to releasing the full results in the next few days."

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