Adoption of OSS components: A goal-oriented approach

L. López, D. Costal*, C.P. Ayala, X. Franch, M.C. Annosi, R. Glott, K. Haaland

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Open Source Software (OSS) has become a strategic asset for a number of reasons, such as short time-to-market software delivery, reduced development and maintenance costs, and its customization capabilities. Therefore, organizations are increasingly becoming OSS adopters, either as a result of a strategic decision or because it is almost unavoidable nowadays, given the fact that most commercial software also relies at some extent in OSS infrastructure. The way in which organizations adopt OSS affects and shapes their businesses. Therefore, knowing the impact of different OSS adoption strategies in the context of an organization may help improving the processes undertaken inside this organization and ultimately pave the road to strategic moves. In this paper, we propose to model OSS adoption strategies using a goal-oriented notation, in which different actors state their objectives and dependencies on each other. These models describe the consequences of adopting one such strategy or another: which are the strategic and operational goals that are supported, which are the resources that emerge, etc. The models rely on an OSS ontology, built upon a systematic literature review, which comprises the activities and resources that characterize these strategies. Different OSS adoption strategy models arrange these ontology elements in diverse ways. In order to assess which is the OSS adoption strategy that better fits the organization needs, the notion of model coverage is introduced, which allows to measure the degree of concordance among every strategy with the model of the organization by comparing the respective models. The approach is illustrated with an example of application in a big telecommunications company.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-38
Number of pages22
JournalData & Knowledge Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2015

JEL classifications

  • d83 - "Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief"


  • Conceptual modelling
  • i-star
  • Ontologies
  • Open Source Software
  • OSS adoption
  • Computer software
  • Ontology
  • Open systems
  • Software engineering
  • Commercial software
  • Goal-oriented approach
  • Maintenance cost
  • Strategic decisions
  • Systematic literature review
  • Time to market
  • Open source software

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