Open source software is used by 17.5 percent of New Zealand ICT (information and communications technology) companies, according to the 2005 HiGrowth ICT sector survey.
The study, conducted by IDC Research, showed that open source is preferred by certain sectors within the industry - mostly small to medium-sized companies, and in particular, companies with 10 to 49 full time staff. IT services and telecommunications companies have the highest use of open source, it said.
Seventy-eight percent of the 400 respondents use commercial software.
The study also showed that 73 percent of respondents are selling products and services to other countries, which IDC saw as a positive sign for the economic growth.
Multinational companies in New Zealand have a greater penetration in international markets than local New Zealand companies do. However, local companies have a greater penetration into the Australian market from an export perspective.
Kiwi ICT companies earn revenues primarily from within New Zealand. The second largest revenue earner, Australia, accounts for nearly 25 percent of total ICT revenues, the study said.
IDC found that 30.4 percent of companies in the ICT sector have no advisors or board of directors, and 29.2 percent have no business plan. The discovery led IDC to recommend that companies direct resources to these important tools.