The top four criteria for selecting open source solutions include lower acquisition and maintenance costs, superior security, freedom from vendor lock-in and better quality software. That's according to the 2009 North Bridge Partners Future of Open Source survey.

The priorities reflect a new focus on enterprise-level issues, such as security and quality, over developer interests (such as access to source code), a transition from last year. Bryan House, marketing director at Acquia, one of 14 companies that co-sponsored the study, finds open source more commonly used in data centers. "And now, more and more enterprises are considering open source alternatives throughout the application stack," he says.
Twenty-six percent of respondents believe more than half of their software purchases will be open source five years from now. "[Open source] is a very exciting technology space in the overall software market," says House. "From an innovation perspective, there's a lot happening here. Certainly value is important, but that's not the only piece, and that's why people are seriously considering it as part of their IT spend."

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