More Than 75 Percent Of IT Decision Makers Agree On the Integrity And Trustworthiness of Open Source

By   ISBuzz Team
Writer , Information Security Buzz | Nov 25, 2014 05:02 pm PST

Business continuity, quality and control eclipse cost savings as the top reasons why IT professionals prefer open source to proprietary software. According to a new study by the Ponemon Institute and Zimbra, more than 75 per cent of IT professionals agree that code transparency increases the trustworthiness of a software application, and two-thirds believe it improves security and reduces privacy risks.

Check out the report infographic.

Findings from the survey, which was conducted in 18 countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa as well as the United States, show that 67 percent of IT professionals in EMEA and 74 percent in the US agree that commercial open source outperforms proprietary software when it comes to business continuity. However, IT practitioners in EMEA and the US disagree on matters of security and privacy. Throughout the study, there is evidence that EMEA organisations are more concerned with the privacy consequences of messaging and collaboration, while US organisations are focused more on security.

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Common among IT professionals is dissatisfaction with their current collaboration and messaging platforms, the majority of which are proprietary software solutions. Consequently, 52 percent of EMEA respondents and 55 percent of US respondents say their organisations will be replacing their messaging and collaboration solutions within two years.

“One of the most interesting survey results was the slow adoption of open source messaging and collaboration software despite IT professionals’ resounding trust in open source software,” said Dr. Larry Ponemon, Chairman and Founder of the Ponemon Institute. “With the majority of deployments being proprietary solutions and the sentiment largely negative, I would expect to see increased interest in new solutions that are based on commercial open source,” continued Dr. Ponemon.

Key Findings

Commercial open source outperforms proprietary software in continuity, quality and control.

– 67 percent of EMEA IT professionals agree that commercial open source software offers better business continuity.

– 60 percent of IT practitioners in EMEA believe commercial open source software will boost quality, and 57 percent agree that it offers greater control compared to proprietary software.

– The ability to lower costs is no longer the main point of differentiation for open source software. IT professionals rank business continuity, quality and control above cost; however, open source outperforms proprietary software across all attributes.

Employees increase privacy and security risks.

– Employees are more likely to put their organisations’ messaging and collaboration solutions at risk. According to IT professionals in EMEA:

o   79 percent of employees do not follow company policy on sharing confidential documents.

o   71 percent of employees use unauthorised messaging and collaboration applications.

o   69 percent of employees send and receive files not intended for them.

IT professionals’ dissatisfaction with proprietary software is an opportunity for open source.

– 65 percent of EMEA IT professionals are only somewhat or are not satisfied with their current messaging and collaboration solutions, the majority of which come from proprietary software vendors.

– 52 percent of IT professionals in EMEA plan to replace their messaging and collaboration solutions within two years.

– Vendor reputation and support are the most important factors for selecting a messaging and collaboration solution according to 60 percent of IT professionals in EMEA.

“There is significant opportunity for open source to play a central role in the future of security and privacy,” said Rob Howard, Zimbra CTO. “And, the research supports a trend that we see in our own business: open source provides way more benefit than cost savings alone. Open source delivers on quality and control; it empowers IT to make an impact on more than just the bottom line,” concluded Howard.

The full report, The Open Source Collaboration Study: Viewpoints on Security and Privacy in the US and EMEA is available today. Visit to read the report:

Survey Methodology

The purpose of this research is to learn from IT and IT security practitioners about their companies’ involvement in the use of open source messaging and collaboration solutions and their perceptions about the benefits. The survey was conducted by the Ponemon Institute on behalf of Zimbra and findings presented in the report, The Open Source Collaboration Study: Viewpoints on Security and Privacy in the US and EMEA, sponsored by Zimbra. A sampling frame of 17,680 US and 16,700 EMEA experienced IT and IT security practitioners were selected as participants to this survey. By design, 79 per cent of US respondents and 74 per cent of EMEA respondents are at or above the supervisory levels. The final sample consisted of 1,398 surveys or a 4.1 per cent response rate for the US and 4.0 per cent response rate for EMEA. Respondents include 723 IT and IT security practitioners in the United States and 675 IT and IT security practitioners in the following 18 EMEA countries: United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russian Federation, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Netherlands, Turkey, Poland, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Ireland, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Israel and Greece.

About Zimbra

zimbraZimbra connects people and information with unified collaboration software that includes email, calendaring, file sharing, activity streams, social networks and more. With technology designed for social, mobile and the cloud, Zimbra gives individuals the flexibility to work from virtually anywhere, through nearly every computer, tablet and mobile device.

Zimbra’s software is trusted globally by service providers, governments and companies, with over 200,000 accessing Zimbra in the cloud managed by our worldwide network of service providers. With customers including NTT Communications, Comcast, Dell, Rackspace, Red Hat, Mozilla, H&R Block and Vodafone, a vibrant open source community and worldwide partner network, Zimbra is the third-largest collaboration provider in the world. Zimbra is privately held with corporate headquarters in Frisco, Texas and offices in San Mateo, California; London; Tokyo; Singapore and Pune, India. For more information, visit or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

About Ponemon Institute

ponemonPonemon Institute is dedicated to advancing responsible information and privacy management practices in business and government. To achieve this objective, the Institute conducts independent research, educates leaders from the private and public sectors and verifies the privacy and data protection practices of organizations in a variety of industries. For more information, visit

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