(via Ashley Theunissen) The European Commission has released a report on the impact of open source software for the ICT sector in Europe. The report has been authored by a group of top researchers in the field, including Rishab Aiyer Ghosh, Paul David, and Philippe Aigrain.
The study analysed six small and medium organisations in Europe (mostly from the public sector), in order to ascertain the migration costs from proprietary to non-proprietary software. The report concludes that:
"Our findings show that, in almost all the cases, a transition toward open source reports of savings on the long term – costs of ownership of the software products.A very interesting report, although as a warning it should be said that it seems to be very favourable to OSS by default. I'm sure that the forces of FUD will be out in force soon to attack this as more Euro-pinko propaganda.
Costs to migrate to an open solution are relevant and an organization needs to consider an extra effort for this. However these costs are temporary and manly are budgeted in less than one year. The major factor of cost of the new solution – even in the case that the open solution is mixed with closed software – is costs for peer or ad hoc training. These are the best example of intangible costs that often are not foreseen in a transition. On the other hand not providing a specific training may cause and adverse attitude toward the new technology. Fortunately those costs are limited in time and are not strictly linked to the nature of the new software adopted."