A characterisation of open source software adoption decisions in South African organisations
Thesis (MBA)--University of Stellenbosch, 2011.
The objective of this research is to characterise the factors influencing Open Source Software (OSS) adoption decisions in South African organisations. OSS is used extensively throughout the world, but there is a large amount of fear, uncertainty and doubt surrounding decisions to adopt OSS. The research improved this situation by determining the adoption factors that are relevant to South African organisations. OSS adoption is influenced by individual and organisational technology adoption factors. An extensive literature revealed the technology adoption factors relevant to OSS adoption. Adoption factors identified in literature were localised to the South African context, taking into account both public and private sector organisations. The research has found that OSS adoption factors identified in literature are relevant in a South African context. Factors investigated include access to source code, adoption costs, software freedom and control, technological factors, support factors, organisational factors and environmental factors. An important factor in OSS adoption decisions is the choice between vendor and community based OSS and the skills and resource requirements. Choosing community based software requires additional training, skills and resources. Organisations should take into account the effect of OSS development methodology on adoption decision factors. Important adoption decision factors include software compatibility (open standards), compatibility different hardware platforms (cross platform capabilities) and software and hardware vendor independence. The research concludes with recommendations approaching OSS adoption decisions when considering the choice between OSS and proprietary software.