One of the most common concerns managers have about free/open source software is the product support. I’ve listened their arguments and I found that many of them are so valid concerns and I agree with them but I think there is something they are missing.
Is the privative software support exactly what managers expect and need? The answer is: It depends of how much money your company invests in privative software, so if you are a good client ($$$) it’s probably that you’ll receive support quickly but what happen with companies that don’t have a great budget? Well, they have to wait their turn and hopefully receive the expected support.
So, will it be worse with free/open source software? I don’t think so, the knowledge is spread in the internet and it’s highly probably that other company in the world had the same problem and there are many free/open source companies with highly skillful guys that can find a solution looking the source code or just searching wisely in the web.
The support contract can guarantee a certain level of support in paper but is it what your company really needs in time response and money? There are privative software with great support but it’s not easily to find or costs a lot.
I think free/open software is just another option that companies have to validate and decide just like they do with privative software so support shouldn’t be the big reason to avoid looking what free/open software has to offer.