Open Source Maturity Model for a Department/Enterprise/Institution
The acceptance and adoption of Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) is widespread and expanding rapidly across most industries. The use of FOSS is an attractive option for many parts of an organisation including Development, IT operations and IT strategy. While most of the enterprises today are using FOSS in some way or the other, there is no quantitative measure to characterize the extent of FOSS assimilation with in an enterprise. For example, one enterprise might be using just the mail client Thunderbird for their work, where as another might have migrated its entire IT infrastructure as well as applications to FOSS -- there is no way this difference can be stated in quantitative terms today. Both the enterprises can claim to be using FOSS but there is no way today to distinguish between the extent of their FOSS use as there are no tools for quantifying the same. Differentiating between the levels of FOSS use and adoption in an entity (department/institution/ enterprise) would be needed if say the government wants to give incentives to those who are at higher levels of FOSS adoption. If a unit today makes a claim for such incentives, there is no way to assess the veracity of that claim because there is no metric to objectively assess the extent of FOSS usage with in an enterprise.
Such “Maturity Models” however exist for FOSS products, and are widely used when an organisation wants to evaluate the suitability of a FOSS product for its use. There also exist models for assessing the “FOSS-friendliness” of countries and ranking them accordingly. The proposal here is to extent this idea to cover the FOSS maturity of departments/enterprises/ institutions in the usage of FOSS, borrowing many ideas and tools from similar other maturity models, including the CMM. A model will be built to quantify and assess the maturity of departments/enterprises/ institutions in their adoption of FOSS, and assign levels to it so that they can be ranked suitably. Such ranking can be used for example to identify “ FOSS Success Stories” and highlight them for FOSS promotion. The tool may also be used by the management to identify where the gaps in greater FOSS use are and how they can be overcome to move the organisation to higher levels of “FOSS Maturity”.
This activity would be an original Ph.D. level research work carried out in collaboration with experts in Software Quality Assessment. Primary data will be gathered from different types of Indian entities through appropriate surveys and models built using the same. Openly available data from other sources would also be used to validate the model and make it globally relevant and applicable.
This document has three sections: first section summarizes the existing Open Source Product Maturity models, the second section is about the Open Source Index developed to assess the adoption of open source in different countries. Finally the proposed model being developed for assessing the FOSS maturity of departments/enterprises/institutions is presented in Section-III