Originally posted as an answer to Will SAS die in the near future?

If history is any indicator, SAS is not going anywhere in the near future. My belief is that open source analytics tools will outpace SAS for new users and use cases, but is less like to displace existing users. I base my opinion by looking at technology trends over the last few decades.

As an example, I worked as a data scientist at an insurance company for a few years. The heavily relied on SAS for actuarial and marketing work. While SAS is more costly than open source alternatives, migrating existing work over to new tools would involve a considerable amount of time, money, and effort. This is the same there are still billions of lines of COBOL running in banks and insurance companies across the world. There may be better alternatives, but there is little value in changing something that works.

Other examples suggest SAS may need to change its strategy to remain competitive in new markets. Microsoft, once the poster child for proprietary software, is beginning to embrace open source software. I’m not an SAS expert, but the last I checked, they were working on incorporating R and other open source tools into their products.