It expects far-sighted organisations to be looking to open source to develop even more of an "edge" to increase their competitiveness and drive innovation in 2007.
"There are literally hundreds of thousands of open source projects in the world today," said Anthony Gold, vice-president and general manager, open source business, Unisys.
"Until now, Linux has been one of the most mature and widely adopted elements. In 2007, Unisys sees the entire open source stack attaining a similar inflection point in adoption for critical mainstream business solutions such as business intelligence and enterprise content management," he added.
Unisys experts predicted that enterprise open source buyers would recognise the need for a holistic architecture in 2007. How they achieve it is another matter.
Few have the in-house expertise to manage and integrate legacy systems and open source stacks to achieve it. Even fewer open source software providers have the enterprise expertise to help them.
Increasingly, enterprise customers will turn to SI (systems integrators), who can give them the blueprint to create and manage an infrastructure aligned with their business strategy that integrates appropriate open source elements and optimises their performance.
"In 2007, we will see a rise in more differentiated open source stacks for specific purposes, such as business intelligence, content management and output management," says Ali Shadman, vice-president and general manager, open source solutions, systems & technology, Unisys.
"Traditionally, content management has been divorced from BI and focused mainly on managing files," he said, adding "now we see the two converging in the semantic web".
The semantic web provides a way to gain a holistic view across an entire information set, including both dynamic and static information (for example, PDFs).
It enables more sophisticated data analysis across the business. Most organisations see open source as a way to reduce costs for both technology acquisition and ongoing ownership.
Many are now using or will use SOA (service-oriented architectures) to drive business growth, allowing new services to be deployed for new markets from existing applications or as a more efficient way to develop new applications.