Academic journal article The South East Asian Journal of Management

OPEN SOURCE SYSTEM AS INNOVATION IN ORGANIZATIONS: A Managerial Perspective on Its Adoption

Academic journal article The South East Asian Journal of Management

OPEN SOURCE SYSTEM AS INNOVATION IN ORGANIZATIONS: A Managerial Perspective on Its Adoption

Article excerpt

Information technology is deemed a necessity for an organization to compete in today's competitive world. Thus, organizations seek to use the most cost effective tools in information systems. The use of information systems, which Whitten et al. (2001) defined as "an arrangement of people, data, processes, communications, and information technology that interact to support and improve day-to-day operations in a business, as well as support the problem-solving and decision-making needs of management and users," is considered as one of the options for cost a effective solution. The open source software would be such an option for managers to consider when deciding the tools to be invested in.

Studies have shown that the implementation of OSS can save cost and that the transition and migration from one platform to another requires significant investments as it involves training, data migration as well as hardware cost (Morgan and Finnegan, 2007; Ven and Verelst, 2006). The study by Hauge et al. (2010)study showed "the complete calculations of the true costs and savings of (1) introducing OSS products into organizations, and (2) keeping the OSS products operational over a longer period of time" were considered the challenges to the organizations.

A survey conducted by the Open Source Competency Center Malaysia in July, 2009 shows that more than 70% of Malaysian government offices were running on open source software (OSS Adoption Statistics Malaysian Public Sector Open Source Software Programme, 2010).This value increased in the year 2010 where 97% of the adoption rate was reported in the public sector (Open Source Competency Center (OSC) Laporan Adoption Chart Tahun 2011, 2012). Looking at this statistic, it is can be fairly said that the implementation of the OSS in Malaysia is increasing. At present, there is still lack of studies about the OSS enterprise systems adoption, especially in Malaysia. Hence, this study will be valuable to organizations as it evaluates on the factors determining the adoption of OSS.

This study will explore the adoption of the OSS enterprise systems through sets of technological, organizational and environmental factors by managers in organizations. It would also be beneficial for the organizations to know the factors that contribute to the adoption of OSS besides the benefits of free software. This study is also expected to reinforce the factors of previous studies as well as to offer more perspectives of organizations on the adoption of OSS enterprise systems.

The goal of this research is to give the managers some insights as to the possible factors that contribute to the adoption of the OSS enterprise systems. Since the managers are the ones who are taking the risk of implementing these systems in a company, they are the people being surveyed. The specific research questions are (1) What is the level of adoption of OSS enterprise systems? (2) What are the significant factors that influence a manager's adoption of OSS enterprise systems in organizations?

LITERATURE REVIEW

Open Source Software (OSS)

Coppola and Neelley (2004) defines OSS as "software programs that are distributed with the source code which allows users the freedom to run the program for any purpose, to study and modify the program, and to freely redistribute copies of the original or modified program". The improvements of the OSS are being contributed mainly by users or usually in a community who have fixed the problems or added new features to it. Several success stories show that a huge number of people worldwide using Apache, Linux, Firefox and my SQL (Chamili et al., 2012).

The OSS may appear to be software that is cost free but it also gives an opportunity for business, where the users may use the system as needed or the users may offer it as a service to others. This means, the software can be commercialized (Coppola and Neelley, 2004) by offering services such as implementation, training, and support; packaging and integrating open source software to make its installation and use easier for a wider market; and creating complementary, add-on, or enhanced software for sale

The distribution of the modified software must also be the same as the original software. …

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