Methodology for Public Administrators for Selecting between Open Source and Proprietary Software

TitleMethodology for Public Administrators for Selecting between Open Source and Proprietary Software
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsBouras, C, Kokkinos, V, Tseliou, G
JournalJournal of Telematics and Informatics, Elsevier Science
Pagination 100 - 110

The public sector needs to change over to communicating digitally. This development makes great demands both on work processes in the public sector and on the Information Technology systems, on which e-government is based. From the economic perspective, the change-over poses great challenges, as huge investments will have to be made in Information Technology in the public sector. It is therefore natural, in connection with these investments, for a detailed assessment to be made of what forms of technology it is anticipated to be used, and who controls the development and ownership of this technology. The question is: to what extent Free and Open Source Software can supplement or completely replace proprietary software? This work constitutes a review of literature on pre-existing comparative studies regarding the technical, social, economic and organizational factors on Free and Open Source Software usage. Furthermore, this work includes guidelines that Public Administrations should follow for the selection between open source and proprietary software. Our goal is to help public stakeholders understand the technical/social/economic/organizational environment and therefore reach informed decisions when selecting the appropriate software. The manuscript can also be useful for Free and Open Source Software developers, users and communities who are either directly or indirectly involved in the software market.