Free/Open Source Software And Business: Forming A Migration Policy

TitleFree/Open Source Software And Business: Forming A Migration Policy
Publication TypeUnpublished
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsSpirov, K
Date PublishedAugust

This paper explores the non-technical issues that arise with migration to Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) in Large Scaled Enterprises (LSEs), with special emphasis on human and social issues. The result of the study is a conceptual framework for effective addressing of non-technical issues in a migration policy. The study is of exploratory nature and uses secondary research findings from multiple disciplines: free and open source software, management of human resources, power and conflict, system migration, information systems development, motivation, change management, organizational psychology and social informatics; including anecdotal evidence from FLOSS migrations in practice. A holistic approach has been used during the analysis of the migration issues, based on the key principles of social informatics that IT technology and social contexts are interdependent. The relationship between FLOSS migrations and different organizational contexts is elaborated and it has been found out how lack of vendor support for FLOSS motivates LSEs to improve their self-support of own IT infrastructures. In-depth analysis is performed of the individual and social impact that FLOSS migrations have on enterprise IT personnel, as well as how different individual factors such as age, gender, personal motivations and beliefs may impact on individual migration efforts. The social differences between typical enterprise IT personnel and the FLOSS community are elaborated, as well as how to overcome the communication gap between them. The role of end users in FLOSS migration and relevant issues are discussed. It is proved why staged migration is the most viable option and it is shown how it is related to human and social factors. At the end, a conceptual framework for description of non-technical FLOSS migration issues is discussed, which can be used as a helpful tool in a migration policy.

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