One in four UK SMEs now use Linux and more than half think it robust enough for mission-critical applications, according to a study published today.
Two in five of the 200 IT managers quizzed by research firm Vanson Bourne said they had switched to Linux from Windows.
Major reasons cited for moving to the platform were lower costs (38 per cent), followed by performance, security and reliability (all at 23 per cent).
"More and more IT departments are willing to deploy Linux," said Nick Davis, EMEA Linux xSeries solutions sales manager at survey sponsor IBM.
"UK customers are traditionally conservative in IT infrastructure, but the survey shows they see the benefits beginning to outweigh the costs of changing."
Iain Davie, business development manager at Morse for IBM xSeries and Linux, said he expected many more Windows NT users to switch next year when support and security updates stop.
He added that this presents a two-fold opportunity for the channel.
"First, we can package solutions to take away any complexity. If they're faster, cheaper and more reliable, the customer doesn't care if it's Linux," said Davie. "Second, we can help take away the element of fear in changing over."
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