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Aalto University School of Business Master's Theses are now in the Aaltodoc publication archive (Aalto University institutional repository)
School of Business | Department of Information and Service Economy | MSc program in Information and Service Management | 2015
Thesis number: 14184
Open sourcing proprietary software - Commercial company perspective
Author: Hoffmann, Emilia
Title: Open sourcing proprietary software - Commercial company perspective
Year: 2015  Language: eng
Department: Department of Information and Service Economy
Academic subject: MSc program in Information and Service Management
Index terms: tietojärjestelmät; information systems; tietotekniikka; information technology; ohjelmistot; software
Pages: 112
Key terms: open sourcing; open source; open sourcing process
Abstract:
Commercial companies are getting increasingly more involved in open source, not only by contributing to existing open source projects, but also by initiating their own projects. However, so far there has not been a lot of research about the process of open sourcing, especially in more detail and in the context of commercial companies open sourcing non-revenue generating internal software.

This thesis was driven by a global IT company that wanted to understand what kind of value they could gain from open sourcing an internal tool, how they could successfully carry out the open sourcing project, and what kinds of decisions they should make regarding it. In the literature review an existing high-level framework for the open sourcing process was found. This framework was used to further build on by studying seven different dimensions of open sourcing: business model, legality, software, community, infrastructure, process, and marketing. In the empirical part people, who have been highly involved in open sourcing projects of internal software, were interviewed in order to get more insights on the value gained from open sourcing and the decisions made regarding the different open sourcing dimensions.

The result of this thesis is providing an understanding for the case company on the potential value they could gain from open sourcing their internal tool, and a detailed recommendation on how they could successfully carry the open sourcing project if they would decide to do it, and what kind of decisions they should make regarding each open sourcing dimension.
Master's theses are stored at Learning Centre in Otaniemi.