M. Karjalainen, Large-scale migration to an open source office suite: An innovation adoption study in Finland
This study investigates the largest transition in Finland to an open source office suite andto an open standard for office documents. The IT environment of the open sourceOpenOffice.org migration involves more than 10 000 workstations in the Finnish Ministryof Justice and its administrative sector.Methodologically, the research is a longitudinal innovation adoption study covering the 7-year time span from 2003 to 2010. The study applies and tests the organizationalinnovation adoption process model originally developed by Everett Rogers. In addition tothe theory-testing approach, the study includes artifact-building and artifact-evaluationactivities of design research. The research view of the study introduces a participatoryresearcher's implementation perspective where the researcher as a staff member of theorganization has been in charge of the adoption of the innovation in the organization.The findings of the study provide contributions both to IS research and practice. Theevents of the study give reason to suggest that the characteristics of the open sourcesoftware with low-cost licenses call for improvements in the organizational innovationadoption stage model. The findings suggest that the predefined order of stages in theinnovation process and sharp distinctions between stages should not be expected inorganizational innovation adoption. As a new model and method, the study provides acomplementary framework for the instrumentation and documentation of the open sourceinnovation process in the organizational context. The study confirms several results fromprevious research and practice, especially the importance of top management support,systematic open source skill building and the presence of innovation champions in theadoption of open source solutions.For IS practice, the study shows that the transition to an open source office suite isfeasible in a large-scale context and that substantial benefits can be achieved as theresult of the transition. For the user organizations of open source software, lower cost hasbeen the most commonly cited benefit and one of the main reasons for adopting opensource. Other often cited considerations include strategic goals like the facilitation ofmore sovereign IT governance and the reduction of vendor dependence through opensource solutions and open standards. The study addresses several practically importantissues involved in the adoption of open source, e.g., the analysis of software functionalityand interoperability, cost evaluations, installation and configuration issues, local languagesupport issues, additional tools to support the migration, user training and support,technical support, and software usage measurements. The evaluation of costs in thestudy indicates that the migration to the open source office suite platform will benefit thetarget organization of the study with impressive cost savings when compared to thedeployment of a comparative proprietary office suite platform. The study appliesnumerous best practice approaches which together with the rich insight provided by theresearch should benefit other organizations considering open source office suiteadoptions both from the perspectives of management and implementation.
: Innovation adoption, open source migration, office suite, OpenOffice.org,ODF