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Obstacles to the adoption of open source software

This is the summary of a study done on barriers to the adoption of open source software. They invited 153 companies to participate in an online survey and received 111 replies. 56 were valid responses. The main survey question was: “What are the reasons which prevent the (increase of) adoption of open source software in your organization?”.


Insufficient knowledge (32%)

The answer that emerged most often is the lack of knowledge about open source software. Mainly, the lack of knowledge within the company, but also locally. It can be difficult to find good employees to maintain open source software. Many people in place have always worked with proprietary software. Even in the private sector there are not many companies to install and support open source software. Existing businesses tend to target governments and schools.

No barriers (26%)

Some respondents wrote that they had no reason not to use open source software. They already use them, it works and they plan to use as much as possible.

Lack of functionality (16%)

Many have identified the lack of functionality of open source software as a major barrier to adoption or increased adoption. Also the problem of compatibility with existing systems.

Company policies (14%)

Some managers do not trust open source software. Some companies also have regulations preventing the use of open source software.

Lack of resources (12%)

Lack of time, money and human resources is an obstacle for some organizations. They do not have enough resources to try new technologies and modify them for their needs.

Dependence on a supplier (5%)

Some companies use specialized software that are offered by a limited number of suppliers. Most of these programs are not open source software.

Not a goal of the company (3%)

Two responses indicated that the adoption of open source software was not a goal of the company and not necessary.

Satisfaction with the proprietary solutions (1%)

One response stated satisfaction with their operating systems and they did not see significant savings in adopting open source software.


The biggest obstacle to the adoption of open source software is the lack of knowledge of company employees. It can be difficult to change the direction of technology in a company. The use of consulting firms is a good choice, since they can be hired as needed during the adoption of open source software. To address barriers to the adoption of new technologies, it is important that companies receive the necessary training.

Ven, Kris and Verelst, Jan (2010). A Field Study on the Barriers in the Assimilation of Open Source Server Software. Open Source Software: New Horizons. SpringerLink

smellems Solutions

We have the knowledge to help you make the right choice of open source software for your business. We are available to answer your questions, to accompany you during all stages of the transition and to offer maintenance and support. Technology employee training is important for the company to take over its IT environment by using open source software.

The features available in open source software are increasing constantly. It is always useful to check if the software you want is available as open source software. Today (2011), there are operating systems, office suites, software for graphic design, accounting and more recently, enterprise management software (customer management, inventory, sales, operations, ..) . Do not forget the business intelligence software that are also emerging. It is true that open source software can be modified according to needs of a business, but the most popular are functional and can be installed and used without problems in addition to offering you more flexibility if you want to make changes.

smellems Solutions will always be informed of new developments in the field of open source software. Clients can be assured that they use software that is secure and stable.