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Choosing open source software: Strategies behind and reasons for municipalities’ use of Open Office
Institutionen för data- och systemvetenskap, Stockholms universitet.
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Informatics.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2923-9034
2011 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of the study was to explore the strategies and reasons for Swedish municipalities to migrate from proprietary office applications, such as Microsoft Office, to the use of the open source software OpenOffice. We performed a comparative case study of three Swedish municipalities in the region of Västra Götaland currently implementing or planning to implement OpenOffice; Alingsås, Falköping and Kungälv. The methods of data collection used in the study were semi-structured interviews with IT managers, such as IT strategists and Chief Information Officers (CIOs), in each municipality, and document analysis.

The findings of the study indicated that one of the municipalities had an IT strategy including strategies for use of open source software. The second municipality planned implementation of OpenOffice but were “between IT strategies”, as the current IT strategy hadn’t been updated for some years. The third municipality had abolished IT strategies, as the difficulties of anchoring strategies on all levels of the organisations were too large. Instead, operative guidelines concerning i.e. the use of open source software were used in IT management. The main driver of implementing OpenOffice was to lower IT costs. The IT managers were well aware of the fact that open source software is not entirely free of cost, but estimated the total cost of ownership of OpenOffice to be less than for Microsoft Office. Perceived barriers of implementation and use of OpenOffice were lack of standardisation with current administrative and enterprise systems used in the municipalities as well as a general lack of knowledge and familiarity with open source software among staff. There were also a genuine concern over the possibility of the community of OpenOffice developers leaving the program and its users to embark on new open source software project. The traditional relationship between systems suppliers and customers was perceived to disappear and be replaced with a much more uncertain business relationship. Further research in a larger number of Swedish municipalities is needed in order to increase the understanding of the circumstances of migration to open source software in municipalities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Stockholm University, School of Business , 2011. 138-138 p.
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-14762OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-14762DiVA: diva2:403417
Conference
21st NFF, Nordic Academy of Management Conference, August 20-24 2011, Stockholm, Sweden
Available from: 2011-03-13 Created: 2011-03-13 Last updated: 2016-02-10Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
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Output format
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