Risks and Risk Mitigation in Open Source Software Adoption: Bridging the Gap between Literature and Practice

  • Øyvind Hauge
  • Daniela Soares Cruzes
  • Reidar Conradi
  • Ketil Sandanger Velle
  • Tron André Skarpenes
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 319)


The possible benefits of open source software (OSS) have led organizations into adopting a variety of OSS products. However, the risks related to such an adoption, and how to reduce these risks, are not well understood. Based on data from interviews, a questionnaire, and workshops, this paper reports ongoing work in a multi-national telecom company. The paper has three main contributions. First, it identifies and discusses several risks related to OSS adoption. Second, it identifies steps for reducing several of these risks. Third, it shows how research can be used to increase the visibility of, and involve the employees in, ongoing OSS efforts.


Open Source Software Risk Mitigation Workshop Participant Open Source System Open Source Software Project 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Adams, P., Boldyreff, C., Nutter, D., Rank, S.: Adaptive Reuse of Libre Software Systems for Supporting On-line Collaboration. In: Feller, J., Fitzgerald, B., Hissam, S.A., Lakhani, K.R., Scacchi, W. (eds.) Open Source Application Spaces: Proceedings of the Fifth Workshop on Open Source Software Engineering (WOSSE 2005), pp. 1–4. ACM, New York (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ågerfalk, P.J., Deverell, A., Fitzgerald, B., Morgan, L.: Assessing the Role of Open Source Software in the European Secondary Software Sector: A Voice from Industry. In: Scotto, Succi (eds.) [26], pp. 82–87Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Birk, A., Dingsøyr, T., Stålhane, T.: Postmortem: Never Leave a Project without It. IEEE Software 19(3), 43–45 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bonaccorsi, A., Giannangeli, S., Rossi, C.: Entry Strategies Under Competing Standards: Hybrid Business Models in the Open Source Software Industry. Management Science 52(7), 1085–1098 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bonaccorsi, A., Rossi, C.: Comparing motivations of individual programmers and firms to take part in the open source movement: From community to business. Knowledge, Technology, and Policy 18(4), 40–64 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Brink, D., Roos, L., Weller, J., Van Belle, J.-P.: Critical Success Factors for Migrating to OSS-on-the-Desktop: Common Themes across Three South African Case. In: Damiani, et al. (eds.) [8], pp. 287–293Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Cruz, D., Wieland, T., Ziegler, A.: Evaluation Criteria for Free/Open Source Software Products Based on Project Analysis. Software Process: Improvement and Practice 11(2), 107–122 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Damiani, E., Fitzgerald, B., Scacchi, W., Scotto, M. (eds.): Proceedings of the 2nd IFIP Working Group 2.13 International Conference on Open Source Software (OSS 2006) - Open Source Systems. IFIP International Federation for Information Processing, vol. 203. Springer, Heidelberg (2006)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    del Bianco, V., Lavazza, L., Morasca, S., Taibi, D.: Quality of Open Source Software: The QualiPSo Trustworthiness Model. In: Boldyreff, C., Crowston, K., Lundell, B., Wasserman, A.I. (eds.) Proceedings of the 5th IFIP Working Group 2.13 International Conference on Open Source Systems (OSS2009) - Open Source Ecosystems: Diverse Communities, June 3-6. IFIP International Federation for Information Processing, vol. 299, pp. 199–212. Springer, Heidelberg (2009)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Dinkelacker, J., Garg, P.K., Miller, R., Nelson, D.: Progressive Open Source. In: Tracz, W., Magee, J., Young, M. (eds.) Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2002), Orlando, Florida, May 19-25, pp. 177–184. ACM, New York (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Feller, J., Fitzgerald, B., Scacchi, W., Sillitti, A. (eds.): Proceedings of the 3rd IFIP Working Group 2.13 International Conference on Open Source Software (OSS 2007) - Open Source Development, Adoption and Innovation, Limerick, Ireland, June 11-14. IFIP International Federation for Information Processing, vol. 234. Springer, Heidelberg (2007)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Fichman, R.G.: Information Technology Diffusion: A Review of Empirical Research. In: DeGross, J.I., Becker, J.D., Elam, J.J. (eds.) Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS ’92), Dallas, USA, Minneapolis, MN, December 13-16, pp. 195–206. University of Minnesota (1992)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Fitzgerald, B.: Open Source Software Adoption: Anatomy of Success and Failure. International Journal of Open Source Software & Processes 1(1), 1–23 (2009)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Fitzgerald, B., Kenny, T.: Developing an Information Systems Infrastructure with Open Source Software. IEEE Software 21(1), 50–55 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Ghosh, R.A.: Study on the Economic Impact of Open Source Software on Innovation and the Competiveness of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Sector in the EU. Technical report, UNU-MERIT (2006)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Glynn, E., Fitzgerald, B., Exton, C.: Commercial Adoption of Open Source Software: An Empirical Study. In: Verner, J., Travassos, G.H. (eds.) Proceedings of International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering (ISESE 2005), Noosa Heads, Australia, November 17th-18th, pp. 225–234. IEEE Computer Society, Los Alamitos (2005)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Goode, S.: Something for nothing: management rejection of open source software in Australia’s top firms. Information & Management 42(5), 669–681 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Grand, S., von Krogh, G., Leonard, D., Swap, W.: Resource allocation beyond firm boundaries: A multi-level model for Open Source innovation. Long Range Planning 37(6), 591–610 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Hauge, Ø., Ayala, C.P., Conradi, R.: Open Source Software in Organizations - A Systematic Literature Review. Submitted to Information and Software TechnologyGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Hauge, Ø., Sørensen, C.-F., Conradi, R.: Adoption of Open Source in the Software Industry. In: Russo, B., Damiani, E., Hissam, S.A., Lundell, B., Succi, G. (eds.) Proceedings of the 4th IFIP Working Group 2.13 International Conferences on Open Source Software (OSS2008) - Open Source Development Communities and Quality, Milano, Italy, September 7-10. IFIP International Federation for Information Processing, vol. 275, pp. 211–222. Springer, Heidelberg (2008)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Hauge, Ø., Sørensen, C.-F., Røsdal, A.: Surveying Industrial Roles in Open Source Software Development. In: Feller, et al (eds.) [11], pp. 259–264Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Holck, J., Larsen, M.H., Pedersen, M.K.: Managerial and Technical Barriers to the Adoption of Open Source Software. In: Franch, X., Port, D. (eds.) ICCBSS 2005. LNCS, vol. 3412, pp. 289–300. Springer, Heidelberg (2005)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Jaaksi, A.: Experiences on Product Development with Open Source Software. In: Feller, et al. (eds.) [11], pp. 85–96Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Morgan, L., Finnegan, P.: Benefits and Drawbacks of Open Source Software: An Exploratory Study of Secondary Software Firms. In: Feller, et al. (eds.) [11], pp. 307–312Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Ozel, B., Jovanovic, U., Oba, B., van Leeuwen, M.: Perceptions on F/OSS Adoption. In: Feller, et al. (eds.) [12], pp. 319–324Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Rogers, E.M.: Diffusion of Innovations, 5th edn. Free Press, New York (2003)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Scotto, M., Succi, G. (eds.): Proceedings of The First International Conference on Open Source Systems (OSS 2005), Genova, Italy, July 11th-15th (2005)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Serrano, N., Calzada, S., Sarriegui, J.M., Ciordia, I.: From Proprietary to Open Source Tools in Information Systems Development. IEEE Software 21(1), 56–58 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Sohn, S.Y., Mok, M.S.: A strategic analysis for successful open source software utilization based on a structural equation model. Journal of Systems and Software 81(6), 1014–1024 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Taibi, D., Lavazza, L., Morasca, S.: OpenBQR: a framework for the assessment of OSS. In: Feller, et al. (eds.) [11], pp. 173–186Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Tiangco, F., Stockwell, A., Sapsford, J., Rainer, A.: Open-source software in an occupational health application: the case of Heales Medical Ltd. In: Scotto, Succi (eds.) [26], pp. 130–134Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Ven, K., Van Nuffel, D., Verelst, J.: The Introduction of in the Brussels Public Administration. In: Damiani, et al. (eds.) [8], pp. 123–134Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Ven, K., Verelst, J.: The Organizational Adoption of Open Source Server Software by Belgian Organizations. In: Damiani et al. [8], pp. 111–122Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Ven, K., Verelst, J.: The Impact of Ideology on the Organizational Adoption of Open Source Software. Journal of Database Management 19(2), 58–72 (2008)Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Ven, K., Verelst, J., Mannaert, H.: Should You Adopt Open Source Software? IEEE Software 25(3), 54–59 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Ven, K., Mannaert, H.: Challenges and strategies in the use of Open Source Software by Independent Software Vendors. Information and Software Technology 50(9-10), 991–1002 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© IFIP 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Øyvind Hauge
    • 1
  • Daniela Soares Cruzes
    • 1
  • Reidar Conradi
    • 1
  • Ketil Sandanger Velle
    • 1
  • Tron André Skarpenes
    • 1
  1. 1.Norwegian University of Science and Technology 

Personalised recommendations