Improving the Acceptability of Open Source Software Amongst Software Company Clients by Adopting Strategical Methods

ABSTRACT

The software company has grown at an alarming rate over the years. A major cause of this developmental growth is the use of open source software. The open source software’s have changed a large part of the software industry acting as a substitute or surrogate to the proprietary software’s that already exist. This growth has enabled the use of open source software as the backbone of the software company displacing the standard of software development, making it a prime candidate for commercial use and development of social strategies.

XYZ Data Systems Limited is a software company which is experiencing a drawback in the acceptability of open source software by company clients. This drawback is as a result of different factors, primarily, the factors that affect the adaptation of open source softwares. The research carried out aims at developing strategical methods that can be used to curb this drawback. It evaluates the various issues affecting the acceptability of open source softwares and investigates the issues at XYZ Data Systems Limited.

The first section of this dissertation deals with the scope and objectives of the project. This serves as a guide towards achieving the set goal of the dissertation. The review of academic journals relating to open source software was carried out extensively and the factors hindering the adoption of open source software were evaluated.

In order to accomplish this task, open ended interviews were carried out on the company clients and the staff of the company. The yielded result was used to find the root causes hindering the acceptability of open source software and provide a strategy which could be adopted.

Lots of factors were found to have hindered the adoption of open source software amongst company clients and a strategy was developed which if adopted by the sponsor would aid in solving the stated issue.

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of Study

There has been a major improvement in the software company over the years. The reason behind this growth is the use of open source softwares. The open source software’s have played a large role in the software industry acting as a yardstick to the proprietary software’s that already exist. The growth has enabled the use of open source software as the fulcrum of the software company displacing the standard of software development, making it a prime candidate for commercial use and development of social strategies. Open source software makes use of a method in which the creation and management of a software has been developed in relation to the proprietary software (Benkler, 2006). The use of open source software’s has brought about massive change in large parts of businesses as well as the software company as a whole promoting innovation, new business models, and a basic platform which gives room for making new values.

Regardless of the positive reasons which the open source software poses, lots of questions are also been raised about the use of the software. This has hindered its use as well as how acceptable the software is to organisations and company clients.

Different factors affect the acceptability of open source softwares amongst company clients. According to the research carried out by (Li et al, 2000) the quality of a software is appraised by the satisfaction it provides the user. Lots of users tend to opt for the proprietary softwares due to various reasons. In order to properly avoid these challenges, a strategic method has to be developed.

This study focuses on developing a strategy which could be adopted by XYZ Data Systems Limited towards improving the acceptability of their clients in the adoption of open source softwares making use of strategic methods.

1.2 Sponsor Background

XYZ Data Systems Limited is an ICT solutions provider which provides ICT network administration software to companies and people, system integration services, and development of system support softwares. Netdata deals with value provision to customers as well as result evaluation of services to customers.
The distribution of software by Netdata spans to different spheres of the economy which includes business organisations, banking and insurance sectors, telecom companies, manufacturing sector, hotels and restaurants, hospitals and clinics, chambers of commerce, educational institutions, and the government as a whole.

In order to increase the productivity level, XYZ Data Systems Limited focuses on saving cost. This is a vital phase in a business and they achieve this by supporting open source platforms. The use of the Linux Operating System is dominant, different open source softwares to fit different spheres of the economy as well as the deployment of the cloud system, which reduces the cost of ICT based infrastructure.

XYZ Data Systems Limited being an ICT solutions provider supports the best standards and provides value for the money invested or paid by the clients. Due to the high demand for softwares and the need to reduce cost as well as obtain good value for money, the management of XYZ Data Systems Limited have developed interest in adopting the approach of the use of open source softwares. This has prompted the research in finding out ways of improving the acceptability level of open source software amongst the company clients

1.3 Research Topic

The focus of this dissertation is to improve the acceptability of open source software amongst software company clients by adopting strategic methods. In order to achieve this, the factors affecting the use of open source software were determined; methods that could be adopted to improve the use of open source software were established and strategic methods that could be adopted to improve the acceptability of open source software amongst software company clients were stated.

1.3.1 Research Question

The aim of this dissertation is to develop strategical methods that could be adopted in order to improve the acceptability of open source software amongst software company clients of XYZ Data Systems Limited.

In order to achieve this goal, the research would be aided by the following questions.

Research Question 1: Will the adoption of a strategic method be the best approach towards improving the acceptability of open source software amongst company clients?

Research Question 2: How can open source software acceptability be improved?

1.4 Client Requirements

The client requirements helps in giving the project work a direction as it tends to explicitly explain the path at which the project work is being headed. These are the requirements needed by the client.

1. A report stating the current issues encountered by organizations towards the adoption of open source software.

2. A review of the current open source software and how it can be improved upon in order for it to be accepted by the company clients.

3. A report showing methods that can be adopted towards improving the acceptability level of clients towards open source software as well as companies towards open source software.

1.4.1 Client Deliverables

The client deliverables include;

  1. Recommendations showing how open source software can be improved in order to be accepted by company clients.
  2. A set of software and development strategies or procedures that could be adopted by XYZ Data Systems Limited.
  3. A Report stating how XYZ Data Systems Limited can improve on its open source software implementation and adoption by adopting strategical methods.

1.4.2 Project Constraints

During the course of this project, the following drawbacks were encountered;

  1. Location of the sponsor (Nigeria). The sponsor is located in Nigeria while the researcher is located in the United Kingdom.
  2. Availability of the sponsor. Only one contact was allocated to the researcher during the course of this project by the sponsor (XYZ Data Systems Limited), thereby all communication had to be done through this individual.
  3. Feedback from the sponsor. Due to the time difference, there was a let-down in communication as the time taken to get a feedback from the sponsor faltered.
  4. Time to process the required information from the sponsor Client concerns and priorities. That is, the compatibility of the developed strategies with existing strategies used by the sponsors (XYZ Data Systems Limited).