Open source software in medium size organizations: Key factors for adoption

by Solomon, Jerry T., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2010, 92 pages; 3432171


For-profit organizations are constantly evaluating new technologies to gain competitive advantage. One such technology, application software, has changed significantly over the past 25 years with the introduction of Open Source Software (OSS). In contrast to commercial software that is developed by private companies and sold to organizations, OSS is often developed by communities of developers, and freely distributed. The lower or nonexistent pricing for OSS may attract potential adopters without fully considering the ramifications of OSS adoption. The minimal research available on the evaluation of Open Source Application Software (OSAS) leaves IT decision-makers with limited information from which to base application software adoption decisions when OSS options are considered. Based on previous research by Thomas van der Luer in 2005, IT decision-makers in the US were invited to participate in a survey to identify key factors they felt most important to be considered when adopting OSAS. While further research with higher response rates is necessary, preliminary results indicated that compatibility, trialability, top management support, licensing concerns, current IT skill, and open standards compliance were key factors, while cost was not. Subgroup analyses indicated different results based on organizational size and whether or not OSAS had already been adopted, so further research is suggested to explore these trends. In addition, application software is a rapidly changing field, and frequent research is recommended to reflect the most recent software trends.

AdviserDon Gottwald
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Information technology; Computer science
Publication Number3432171

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