More than half of the 517 organizations surveyed by Gartner use open source software (OSS). When the firm first started tracking open source in the enterprise five years ago, only 10% of organizations were using OSS. Gartner published the results in a report titled Survey Analysis: Overview of Preferences and Practices in the Adoption and Usage of Open-Source Software. This announcement summarizes the findings.

Decision makers aren’t just looking to OSS because it’s cheaper – they’re also trying to gain competitive advantages through open source. “Nearly one-third of respondents cited benefits of flexibility, increased innovation, shorter development times and faster procurement processes as reasons for adopting OSS solutions,” reads the announcement.

More than one in five respondents (22%) are using OSS in all departments of the organization, while 46% are using OSS for specific departments. According to the announcement, the top uses for OSS were “data management and integration; and application development, integration, architecture, governance and/or overhaul.” Other popular uses were security and compliance, data center modernization and virtualization.

Last year we reported an Accenture survey that found that 40% of organizations planned to migrate mission-critical software to open source within a year. It appears that this might be happening quicker than thought, though Gartner includes non-mission critical deployments in its figures.

For a look at some of the most popular open source applications in the enterprise, check out this post.