The inclusion of FLOSS in neutral tactical purchasing of software.

Maurice Verheesen is currently preparing research on the inclusion of FLOSS in neutral tactical purchasing of software.

Much is known about the adoption of FLOSS. Literature states for instance reasons, trends and factors that influence the adoption. However when comparing procurement practices with the FLOSS phenomenon one can see several incompatibilities:

Tendering practice. Literally means "invite to tender". And assumes companies are waiting to give you a bid. FLOSS projects don't have a profit motif and thus won't be looking to put in a bid. A more active approach from the buyers side is thus necessary.

Comparison. Somewhere in any decision process a comparison of options must be made. When dealing with FLOSS the product is usually separated from the service. This in contrast with closed source software where everything is included in a package. A method is needed to look at the functional requirements and compare this with the options.

TCO. An important factor in TCO calculations is the product life time. However FLOSS products have the potential of an infinite life time. This is because one effectually owns the source code and thus can always keep the product alive. So FLOSS has a much more powerful strategic component to consider.

These incompatibilities, the practical relevance of this subject (register) and the gap in literature about FLOSS procurement give more than enough reason to warrant research into the following research questions:

  • How do organizations deal with FLOSS products (to which they do not contribute) when procuring software for their processes?
  • What problems are found in these organizations when procuring FLOSS products and have they found solutions for this?
  • How can the procuring be improved to make the process neutral for technology (FLOSS and closed source)?

Any tips, comments, remarks or additional research questions are more than welcome! Please contact Maurice Verheesen at