"In the last decade, I've done plenty of formal research into
corporate adoption of open source. For example, I designed a survey
and wrote up the results of one research study about business open
source use. So I can say authoritatively: At least as of that 2008
research, the major business executive barriers to FOSS adoption
are product support, the awareness of available solutions (that is,
vendors come calling with a sales pitch, but the CIO might not know
an open source option is available), and lack of support by
management (i.e. "the boss won't let us"). I've also written the
Evans Data open source report for several years, so I know that
developers' FOSS perceptions of what's important are very different
than the murmurings on the deep-plush-carpeted executive floor.
"But statistics go just so far, and most articles about the
benefits of open source are written by-and-for techies. No research
can show what motivates a hidebound, traditional boss to change his
mind about the suitability of an open source application for the
company. Very likely, I suspect, the adoption happens eventually
because someone who works at the company argues for the new
application or OS ("Hey boss, if we used this alternative
instead—"), but I'm equally sure that plenty have tried the
arm-twisting and failed."
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