|Posted by jwbr on Feb 13, 2006 7:46 AM EDT|
http://www.e-business.iao.fraunhofer.de/publikationen.html; By Thomas Renner, Michael Vetter, Sascha Rex, Holger Kett
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The Competence Centers Electronic Business and Business Integration of the Fraunhofer IAO releases a report entitled "Open Source Software: Potential for Use and Economic Efficiency," a very comprehensive, objective, and systematic review of Open Source Software and its potential for use in business.
The Competence Centers Electronic Business and Business Integration of the Fraunhofer IAO "Institut Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation" ("Institute of Industrial Engineering and Organization") released in 2005 a report entitled "Open Source Software: Einsatzpotentiale und Wirtschaftlichkeit" (Open Source Software: Potential for Use and Economic Efficiency." The study centers around the software environment at the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, a public research institute based in Munich with around 50 facilites and employing 12000 people. The 184-page document contains 33 diagrams (many of which are charts) and 26 tables and is in German.
About the Center (from http://www.e-business.iao.fraunhofer.de/index.html, my translation):
"We concern ourselves with technologies and processes for the support of electronic commerce (e-business), especially for the optimization of intra- and inter-enterprise business processes. The consolidation of IT strategies and procedures from the point of view of the entire enterprise plays as big of a role as the use and optimization of electronic solutions in special areas, such as e-procurement, logistics, and e-learning."
More about the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft can be found at the following links:
Authors: Autoren: Thomas Renner, Michael Vetter, Sascha Rex, Holger Kett
A list of the Center's publications (including this one) can be found here as can information about ordering reprints:
golem.de has published a review of the document (in German):
High-level table of contents:
Chapter 1: Introduction and Goals
Chapter 2: Characteristics of Open Source Software
Chapter 3: Open Source Software: The Current State
Chapter 4: Applications by Category
Chapter 5: Consideration of Economic Efficiency
Chapter 6: Strategic Analysis
Chapter 7: Summary
The study is a very comprehensive, objective, and systematic review of Open Source Software and its potential for use in business, having performed extensive comparisons of Open Source with proprietary/commercial offerings in use at the Fraunhofer Society, such as those from Microsoft and other commercial providers. The report is good reading especially for someone planning their business' IT needs from scratch.
The study found overall that Open Source Software, above all Linux and its application stack, provides a competitive alternative to commercial offerings, many of which did not compare as well as one might have expected in some of the analyses. Non-Linux platforms, e.g., the BSDs and MacOS X, were considered but relegated to niche markets. Application categories analyzed include Operating Systems, Office Suites, Scientific and Technical Software, Groupware, Databases, Software Development Systems, Graphics Software, among others. Results are commonly quantified using relative scales and frequently reported in the form of comparative charts.
Interesting results from the review were concerns about sustained development, lack of commercial support, and a lack of general know-how in Open Source applications among staff. Lack of license fees and high levels of interoperability due to adherence to open standards were perceived advantages of Open Source Software. Overall, the study was favorable to Open Source Software, though results were heavily affected by the predominance of Microsoft Windows on the desktop and the widespread use of applications that only run on Windows.