The South African Government approved a policy on Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) use in Government in 2007. This policy document encouraged the utilization of Open Source Software in Government. On 12 April 2016 the Limpopo provincial EXCO approved a Free and Open Source Software Strategy and its implementation plan for use in order to lower the cost of ICT operations in the Limpopo Province. FOSS has the potential to create opportunities for Small and Medium Enterprises, where they are competing with established giants in the industry with little hope of being successful.

One of the factors that are discouraging small companies and individuals from entering the ICT market is the high-cost of software and the fact that the market is dominated by established companies with access to technologies and patents, which are acquired at high-cost and in-turn leads to a high-total cost of ownership for the end-user. With the introduction of FOSS, the rules of engagement have changed. Small companies and individuals no longer have to pay expensive license fees which mean that they are no longer excluded from new technology developments and entrance to ICT markets. Other advantages that adoption of FOSS brings to communities include:

  • FOSS supports ICT spending with local companies, keeping that money ‘onshore’.

  • FOSS encourages a valued local skill base.

  • Open source supports innovation, local solutions and learning.

Open source supports local content creation and consumption and localization is one of the areas where FOSS becomes a preferred option because of its open nature. Users are able to modify FOSS to suit the unique requirements of a particular cultural region, regardless of economic size.

Limpopo Connexion (LCX), a subsidiary of Limpopo Economic Development Agency (LEDA), developed a FOSS readiness assessment methodology. The methodology can be used to assess an entity’s readiness in terms of migration to FOSS.

In addition to the readiness assessment, the methodology gives a clear and concise roadmap for the procedure to follow should an organisation decide to migrate to a pure FOSS application environment or mix application environment.

Contact Limpopo Connexion to assist you with your journey to adopt FOSS in your business.