Large organisations will deploy more enterprise-wide free software this year as IT budgets are squeezed.

Research by Global Graphics revealed that 51 per cent of large organisations would make this move, while 76 per cent already use free software across the enterprise. The most deployed piece of free software is Adobe Reader, used by 78 per cent of organisations (at an enterprise or departmental level), with Java Runtime Environment and Adobe Flash Player completing the top three.

QuickTime, OpenOffice, Google Docs, Skype and Microsoft Save as PDF also make the top ten most used free software applications.

Gary Fry, chief executive officer of Global Graphics, said: “Free software is a critical part of large organisations' IT strategies. Large organisations are perfectly prepared to use free software where possible, and upgrade to a full paid-for version of the product where it makes sense for them.

“That's why we created a free multi-format document viewer and creation product – gDoc Creator – as part of our 'freemium' strategy. It provides a free alternative to a lot of what is offered by Adobe Acrobat, a paid-for application that 38 per cent of CIOs are looking to replace. That creates a real opportunity for us.”