OPEN-SOURCE OPTIONS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

Open Access
Author:
Zhou, Dong-Ya
Area of Honors:
Management Information Systems
Degree:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Nancy Lightner, Thesis Supervisor
  • Nancy J Lightner, Thesis Supervisor
  • John C Spychalski, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • open-source software
  • small businesses
  • parameters
  • conditions
Abstract:
This research is on finding different conditions for small businesses to implement open-source software. The purpose of the study is to increase the knowledge of open-source solution to smaller businesses. As a result, small organizations can take advantage of open-source applications that can better manage their information. Open-source software is a licensing model that discloses the software’s source code to the public and does not charge a fee in exchange for the source code to be credited by the developer, even after modification. Therefore, software applications developed through the open-source model does not cost as much as commercial software programs. However, open-source programs lack technical support and program hands-on training. These disadvantages lead to the findings of the four parameters for small businesses, who consider implementing open-source solutions. The four parameters are technical support, cost of the software, conversion / maintenance cost, and importance to core business. With better recognition of the business’ needs to serve its customers through software applications, businesses will have a more efficient and effective business operation. Overall, small businesses should view open-source programs as alternative applications that are available for anyone and not to be anchored to purchasing commercial software for certain function of the business operation.