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Factors influencing open source software adoption. Meeting on the Management of Statistical Information Systems (MSIS 2014) Dublin, Ireland and Manila, Philippines 14-16 April 2014 Brian Buffett, Head of Statistical Services & Technology. Overview. Context Innovation as a process

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Factors influencing open source software adoption

Meeting on the Management of Statistical Information Systems (MSIS 2014)

Dublin, Ireland and Manila, Philippines 14-16 April 2014

Brian Buffett, Head of Statistical Services & Technology

  • Context
  • Innovation as a process
  • Open Source Software adoption
  • The Statistical Industry
  • Summary
  • Perspective of software adopters – not producers
  • Explore statistical agency adoption of OSS
  • Messages for ‘industry built’ software sharing initiatives?
stages of innovation adoption
Stages of Innovation Adoption
  • Stages of <Open Source Software> adoption
    • Unaware of Open Source Software (OSS)
    • Aware of OSS but not in the specific area (business or technical)
    • Seeking information about OSS in the area
    • Aware of OSS in the area, considering (possible exit point)
    • Piloting OSS (possible exit point)
    • Using OSS in production
  • Moving through the stages relies on the accumulation of knowledge
    • From external sources
    • From internal experiences & projects
  • Individuals are fundamental to the process
  • The majority of organisations who consider OSS end up adopting it
  • Once organisations start using OSS, usage expands from simple applications to mission-critical applications
  • Once organisations have adopted OSS for a wide range of applications, it is no longer viewed the same – it begins to be treated the same as commercial software
  • Once that point is reached, OSS is evaluated against the same criteria as commercial (COTS) s/w and must meet the same requirements and standards
towards successful oss adoption managing change
Towards successful OSS adoptionManaging Change
  • Build support for the initiative
  • Identify & address internal barriers
  • Identify risks
  • Impart skills and knowledge on teams which will be affected
  • Introduce governance
  • Adapt purchasing policies
  • NOTE: OSS has a specific culture and there are champions, detractors and neutral persons regardless of a specific business case
procurement example
Procurement example
  • Government (or Agency) procurement, asset management & requirements specification will need to evolve to support OSS and industry sharing models
  • Example from UK Government ICT Procurement Guide
    • Evaluation is to be based on best value and consider commercial and OSS solutions equally. In case of ties, OSS wins
    • Example of requirements to be considered:
      • Security
      • Scalability
      • Minimum and essential functionality
      • Transferability
      • Manageability
      • Maintenance & support requirements
      • Total cost of ownership, including exit and transition costs

Statistical Industry


Summary of Results

where are organisations focussing their efforts top ranked goals
Where are organisations focussing their efforts – top ranked goals
  • Improve integration between applications
  • Increase process-oriented statistical production (reduce silos)
  • Reduce IT costs
  • Increase industrialisation of statistics
  • Increase collaboration with other statistical agencies
  • Adopt or increase use of DDI and/or SDMX standards
  • Use IT to increase innovation
  • Eleven (out of 43) organisations have organizational policies regarding OSS adoption and use.
  • Policy orientation:
    • Ten policies are oriented in favour of OSS adoption
    • One policy is neutral
the official statistics industry
The official statistics industry
  • Has shared goals and this was confirmed by the study
  • Is widely researching, evaluating, and using OSS
    • consistent with high rate of adoption in entire public sector
    • Is using OSS in all areas of statistical operations
  • Is planning to increase OSS usage in the next 48 months
  • Views best practices as important but has not implemented them / is not implementing them
  • Identified OSS having lower operating costs than COTS
  • Identified the same major concerns as other industries
    • Availability of service and support
    • Security
which characteristics of oss are most important
Which characteristics of OSS are most important?
  • Highest level of agreement across staff roles
    • Ability to use OSS without restrictions
    • Support in OSS of open standards
    • Ability to reduce dependencies on vendors
  • Highest variance between staff roles
    • Ability to view and modify source code
    • Ability to create and distribute derivative works
    • Ability to participate in & contribute to OSS development
    • Ability to participate in & contribute to OSS communities
good practices when d eploying oss
Good Practices when Deploying OSS
  • Managing maintenance and support costs
  • Having rules governing OSS development, maintenance, security, and support
  • Having guidelines & approval processes for choosing OSS products prior to adoption
  • Rating & ranking OSS risks and mitigating those risks
  • Monitoring the OSS community to ensure adequate development & support of components used by the agency
  • Ensuring relevant internal skills in OSS development or operations
  • Establishing a support model for the OSS product/solution
  • Establishing internal development, testing, and change management processes for OSS
greatest concerns regarding oss
Greatest Concerns regarding OSS
  • Availability of service and support
  • Security of the software
  • Lack of relevant internal skills and knowledge of OSS (development and operations)
  • Product Immaturity
  • Inability of OSS to help meet business goals
services from external companies re oss
Services from external companies re. OSS
  • In highest demand
    • Consulting
    • Integrating multiple OSS components
    • Training
    • Lifecycle support
    • Integrating OSS with other software
  • Lowest demand
    • Legal support
    • OSS operations
    • Certification of OSS
    • OSS selection
  • Consistently ranked as a top concern across all industries
  • Security evaluations by specialist firms found security to be comparable between OSS and COTS s/w
  • OSS is not more or less secure than COTS
  • Heartbleedopensslbackdoor notwithstanding!
  • Innovation adoption is a process – barriers, risks, elements to manage all change as organisation changes
  • People are critical to the process
  • Major concerns are maintenance/support and security & security of OSS is equivalent to COTS
  • Statistics agencies need to carefully evaluate the true lifecycle costs of OSS vs other models
  • OSS adoption could provide good lessons for industry sharing initiatives
  • Efforts to increase software sharing could benefit from targeting assistance at the various process stages
thank you
Thank You!

Brian Buffett

Head of Statistical Services & Technology