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These are unprecedented times. The global economy is in free fall, with no geographic region or industry unaffected by the scarcity of capital, market volatility, and reduced consumer spending. Dismal economic indicators reflect business conditions that haven't been seen for decades. And experts are warning that we haven't yet hit bottom.
At the same time, IT is under more pressure than ever. There is less capital to invest in new systems at the very moment when companies need to leverage technology to innovate ? both to contain costs and to hone competitive advantage. IT managers are being told to lay off personnel and reduce operating expenses, yet are expected to continue providing the same support to business users as when fully staffed.
But there's a bright spot amidst the general gloom. Specifically, the value proposition of low-cost, highreturn open source solutions is resonating now more than ever. Although used successfully by leading-edge companies for more than 20 years, some mainstream businesses have remained with their proprietary technology alternatives, either due to vendor lock-in or misconceptions about open source. That is rapidly changing. Today, open source is being increasingly recognized for its ease of use, high performance, and affordability, especially amidst today's turbulent economic conditions.
Indeed, the high value of open source, coupled with economic and organizational pressure, represents a "perfect storm" for CIOs, giving them the opportunity to deploy high-performing, cost-effective open source solutions to carve costs out of their IT infrastructures.
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