Free tools are popular among large firms too, shows survey

by CXOtoday News Desk    Aug 06, 2013

IT managers

Free tools are not just for small enterprises that are cash-strapped. According to a survey even large enterprises are deliciously helping themselves to the free tools readily available across platforms. The new survey conducted by ManageEngine, an IT management firm, showed that in the first half of 2013 as high as 61 percent of mid to large corporations (with over 100+ employees) are using free tools. Small businesses that comprise under 100 employees make up just 16 percent of the survey group that use free tools while 21 percent of the solopreneurs and startups (with just under 10 employees) say that they use free tools.

Interestingly, IT teams form the largest group that use these free tools at 28.53 percent followed by banking and finance at 20.98 percent. About 18.38 percent of healthcare professionals admitted to using free tools. Government agencies and education sector are also not shy of using free tools with roughly about 11 percent of the respondents revealing so.

In the IT teams, systems administrators are the most members that use free tools at 43.5 percent. They are followed closely by network administrators with 24.8 percent of the respondents saying they use free tools.

The survey also revealed that most of the mid to large enterprises use free tools on a daily basis. In fact, 46 percent of the respondents said they do so every day, 18 percent say they do so on a need-based system and only 36 percent said they used it occasionally.

Surprisingly, the reason most corporations use free tools is to solve common Windows and desktop management problems. About 44 percent of the respondents said they used free tools for troubleshooting purposes and 29 percent for virtualization monitoring.

The top three reasons IT leaders say they are using free tool because it is quick to install and easy to use. Respondents also said the solution was quick to affirm a sticky system and its ability to look at the problem in isolation.

“The decision to use free tools is really about functionality and performance, not price. This is one of the biggest takeaways of this survey,” said Vidya Vasu, Head, ManageEngine Community.

“Free tools will not replace the management consoles that give admins the big picture on IT, but these nimbler tools are often the go-to solutions for looking at a problem in isolation. Free tools are quick to install, easy to use and provide real-time data. That’s why admins keep going back to them,” added Vasu.

The survey also revealed that most of the mid and large enterprises - 46 percent - use free tools on a daily basis. The most popular ManageEngine free tools are the SNMP MIB Browser, Ping Tool, Ping Tool for iPhone, Windows Health Monitor, Active Directory tools and Desktop Management tools.