Study: Even Large Businesses Utilize Free IT Tools


Study: Even Large Businesses Utilize Free IT Tools

By Brittany Walters-Bearden

It seems that no one can resist something free, even large businesses. According to a new survey from ManageEngine, a company that provides free tools for Windows management, free IT utilities and free virtual and cloud monitoring tools, free IT management tools “aren’t just for solopreneurs, startups and SMBs.” ManageEngine has experienced a 40-percent increase in downloads since the beginning of 2013, and it’s not just small businesses that are using its tools.

ManageEngine surveyed 170 users. The two key findings of the studied may surprise some: 61 percent of free IT management tools are used by mid-sized enterprises and large enterprises, and 46 percent of mid-sized enterprises and large enterprises use free tools on a daily basis. This is not to say that small businesses are not using free tools—the study showed that solopreneurs and startups of up to 10 employees comprised 23 percent of usership—so much as that the use of free tools appears to be universal. 

This was supported by the company’s findings on which industries are using free tolls: IT and technology made up 28.53 percent of respondents; banking, financial and insurance made up 20.98 percent of respondents; healthcare accounted for 18.38 percent of respondents, education accounted for 10.38 percent of respondents, and government accounted for 10.23 percent of respondents.

What kinds of free tools are these businesses using? Among others, businesses of all sizes and from all industries are using application performance management tools, IT security tools, log management tools, compliance tools, help desk management tools, active directory tools and Windows management tools.

The head of the ManageEngine community, Vidya Vasu, says that the decision to use free tools is “really about functionality and performance, not price,” as evidenced by the fact that that businesses with more than enough money are utilizing the tools. Vasu says that admins keep going back to free tools because they are “quick to install, easy to use, and provide real-time data,” noting that, while free tools “won’t replace the management consoles that give admins the big picture on IT,” the “nimbler” ones are “often the go-to solutions for looking at a problem in isolation.”

Edited by Alisen Downey
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