Three strategies for open source deployment

I’ll be presenting my short paper on “Three Strategies for Open Source Deployment:  Substitution, Innovation, and Knowledge Reuse” at the Open Source Systems 2010 conference this May.

I wrote the paper because I see a number of organizations (including my own dear University) using what I call a substitution strategy for open source:  rip out existing proprietary software, and replace it with a ‘free’ open source equivalent.  That strategy has advantages, but it ignores many of the unique benefits of open source use.  I classify these unique advantages into two types:  an increased rate of innovation inside organizations (innovation), and an increased rate of innovation sharing between organizations (knowledge reuse).

In certain situations, such as my San Francisco local government study, I’d argue that the smarter open source strategy would be innovation, not substitution.  Focus your open source efforts on new deployments for unmet organizational needs, and let them grow.  Don’t spend all your time trying to replace existing proprietary software that ‘works’.

3 Comments on "Three strategies for open source deployment"

  1. We should talk about this further before you present. I am working on a new project for the City.

  2. Hi J.P.,

    Would you like to add your blog feed to the Pool on the USF Web? Have a look at and you can sign up from there. All you need to do after that is add the tag “usfpool” to the postings that you would like to present to the USF community in the Pool.



  3. Jyoti Nandrajog | November 29, 2011 at 2:55 am |

    Dear Mr. Allen,

    I am doing a systematicreview of Papers on Open source Software Evolution from year 2010 till now and I am in need of some information from you. Would it be possible for you to give me access to pages 308 to 313 from the book “Open Source Software: New Horizons”?

    Thanks in anticipation.

    Best Regards,
    Jyoti Nandrajog

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