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Open Source Deployment at the City and County of San Francisco: From Cost Reduction to Rapid Innovation

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1 Author(s)
J. P. Allen ; Univ. of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA

Many IS/IT departments today are under severe cost-cutting pressure, with frustrated users and a technical staff subject to the constant threat of outsourcing and layoffs. This case study reports on early experiences with deploying innovative new business applications using open source software at the City and County of San Francisco. While open source adoption research has focused on infrastructure and cost reduction, will the larger organizational impact of open source come from rapid innovation that cuts through resource constraints and complex IT management politics? Early evidence from this case study suggests that systems based on open source platforms are perceived as being developed and deployed in record time, at little cost, while increasing the skills and importance of locally-employed IT talent. By examining the early stages of three projects that have pleasantly surprised users, management, and technical staff, we will suggest how open source enterprise deployments might become a significant force in organizational IT.

Published in:

System Sciences (HICSS), 2010 43rd Hawaii International Conference on

Date of Conference:

5-8 Jan. 2010