Open Systems Use Increases

Survey says IT spending will be 25 percent open by 1997

Open systems continue to account for an increasing percentage of the world's information technology market, according to findings in a worldwide user survey by X/Open Co. Complete results of the Xtra '94 survey were released last week.

Conducted in more than 40 countries and in eight languages, X/Open's fourth worldwide survey anticipates that open systems will account for more than 25 percent of IT spending by 1997, with a compound annual growth rate of 11.1 percent, almost three times the rate forecast for proprietary systems, including desktop systems.

Among the organizations included in the survey that are currently using open systems, the anticipated growth in open systems spending averages more than 30 percent annually. The total growth in IT spending between 1994 and 1997 is expected to be 17.8 percent.

The survey also reveals a growing momentum in the demand for open systems products. In 1991, 68 percent of responding organizations were using open systems, and an additional 20 percent indicated they would be future users. Three years later, that indicator holds up. Eighty-two percent of the organizations surveyed this year now use open systems, and the figure is expected to rise to 96 percent by 1997.

In 1991, the leading users of open systems were European organizations, of which 84 percent responded as current users, while Japanese organizations lagged with 47 percent responding as users. Responses this year show 91 percent of European organizations and 65 percent of Japanese ones now use open systems. In Japan, 91 percent expect to be users of open systems by 1997.

An increasing confidence and reliance on standards is also reflected in the survey.

Portable operating systems, client/ser-ver applications, and system and network security were the top three systems technologies that surveyed organizations deemed important in supporting business functions-each indicated by more than 75 percent of respondents.

The top five growth technologies, measured by the number of organizations that expect to begin using them by 1997, include integrated systems management tools, distributed database management tools, integrated network management tools, distributed databases, and distributed computing tools.

Multimedia applications fall just outside that group, in sixth place, but show the strongest spending growth potential. Nearly two-thirds of the surveyed organizations expect to increase spending on multimedia applications by an average of 43 percent over the next three years.

On the desktop, Microsoft products show the strongest penetration potential between 1994 and 1997. Those were followed closely by the UNIX Common Desktop Environment. UNIX currently dominates the operating systems in use by surveyed organizations.