Open Source and Outsourced IT? 1

Organisations which outsource their IT find it difficult to influence technology decisions, especially towards open source. Normally, the contracts are formulated such that the client purchases “services” or business functionality wrapped with service levels and support.

So, some questions:

  • What benefits of open source are there to the customer of such outsourced IT arrangements, if any?
  • For this scenario, and also large IT environments where the cost and risk appetite means effectively “no customisation, no recoding, only COTS building blocks, no internal special versions of software” … can open source offer advantages?
  • If open source can, how do get the large IT suppliers and integrators to upskill and consider open source as part of their offerings? Why would they go through the hassle, cost and risk or supporting openoffice when MS-office will do? Why bother with Apache when customers have out up with IIS for years … and no customer will (1) accept the risk of imposing open source, nor (2) pay extra for the supplier to upskill and learn on the job. How can you effectively inventiveness suppliers to work with open source?

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One thought on “Open Source and Outsourced IT?

  • markelkins

    The following may have some relevance when considering Open Source and Outsourced IT:

    “There is a de facto tendency in written material about internal marketing to refer to permanent employees of an organization and never mention other kinds of worker. An important issue that may impact on the success of internal marketing is the use of contract and other staff who work
    for an organization alongside permanent staff but who are nevertheless not employees. For example it is not uncommon for such staff not to be re-employed by an organization in the UK after a successful software project is completed [35]. Although such staff might be treated as if they were
    permanent employees for the duration of their contract it is perhaps questionable how well the internal marketing attributes set out in Table 1 can be applied to them as intended by the theory and possibly the spirit of internal marketing. For instance they might not want to participate in an open exchange of ideas because by giving away their knowledge they might consider this reduces the need for the organization to employ them. Also dependent upon the duration of their contract they might not have the chance or motivation to fully gain the knowledge implied within some of these attributes such as staff awareness of marketing campaigns or the product/service portfolio” (Elkins, Ross, Staples, and Dupée 2008).


    Elkins, M., Ross, M., Staples, G., and Dupée, B. (2008). Internal Marketing to Elicit Conceptual
    Needs for Internal Software. WORLDCOMP’08 Congress, 14­17 th July 2008, Las Vegas, USA.