Framing the Conundrum of Total Cost of Ownership of Open Source Software

  • Maha Shaikh
  • Tony Cornford
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 365)


This paper reflects the results of phase I of our study on the total cost of ownership (TCO) of open source software adoption. Not only have we found TCO to be an intriguing issue but it is contentious, baffling and each company approaches it in a distinctive manner (and sometimes not at all). In effect it is a conundrum that needs unpacking before it can be explained and understood. Our paper discusses the components of TCO as total cost of ownership and total cost of acquisition (and besides). Using this broad dichotomy and its various components we then analyze our data to make sense of procurement decisions in relation to open source software in the public sector and private companies.


open source software total cost of ownership benefits exit costs software adoption 


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maha Shaikh
    • 1
  • Tony Cornford
    • 1
  1. 1.Information Systems and Innovation GroupLondon School of Economics and Political ScienceLondonUK

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