Open Source

How do you roll out Linux in an organization?

A new IBM-sponsored report offers some good tips and a few warnings for those contemplating a transition to Linux in their organizations. The report is based on a survey of IT pros who have experienced a roll-out.

Internetnews. com cites a recent report that discloses it's findings on just this question. An IBM-sponsored survey of 1,275 IT professionals around the world asked for feedback on their experiences making the switch to Linux in their organizations. (You can see the summary and download the free report from Freeform Dynamics here.) Here are the key findings:

  • Desktop Linux adoption is primarily driven by cost reduction
  • But deployment is currently limited, and challenges to further adoption frequently exist
  • Selective deployment based on objective targeting will yield the highest ROI and acceptance
  • Linux desktop roll out is easier than expected for properly targeted end-user groups
  • A focus on usability reflects a maturing of thinking

The report locates potential pitfalls in a proper lack of planning and finds that users are most resistant when the idea is pitched that they have to "compromise" (in other words, give up some applications that won't run on Linux) in order to move to Linux. However, it is noted that some must-have applications for users could be virtualized on Citrix to solve that problem.

Were you aware of, or included in this survey? If you've rolled out Linux to your users or just a targeted set of users, how did it go? If you're thinking about such a transition, you might find some tips in the report that will help you plot a path.

About

Selena has been at TechRepublic since 2002. She is currently a Senior Editor with a background in technical writing, editing, and research. She edits Data Center, Linux and Open Source, Apple in the Enterprise, The Enterprise Cloud, Web Designer, and...

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