[Ica-osgeo-labs] [OSGeo-Discuss] How to quantify the economic impact of OSGeo software? Your help needed for a research article

SERGIO ACOSTAYLARA sergio.acostaylara at mtop.gub.uy
Thu Jun 4 08:48:12 PDT 2015

Yes! ?I completely agree with that point of view. It is common practice in my country and many others. That is why I look with suspicion and distrust certain companies' (ESRI, Google) support to events organized? by OSGeo. They do not do it for free...

Sergio Acosta y Lara
Departamento de Geom?tica
Direcci?n Nacional de Topograf?a
Ministerio de Transporte y Obras P?blicas
De: ica-osgeo-labs-bounces at lists.osgeo.org <ica-osgeo-labs-bounces at lists.osgeo.org> en nombre de Margherita Di Leo <diregola at gmail.com>
Enviado: jueves, 04 de junio de 2015 12:26
Para: Suchith Anand
Cc: discuss at lists.osgeo.org; ica-osgeo-labs at lists.osgeo.org
Asunto: Re: [Ica-osgeo-labs] [OSGeo-Discuss] How to quantify the economic impact of OSGeo software? Your help needed for a research article


On Thu, Jun 4, 2015 at 4:38 PM, Suchith Anand <Suchith.Anand at nottingham.ac.uk<mailto:Suchith.Anand at nottingham.ac.uk>> wrote:
Very good point and here is where we need help (maybe from an Economics expert).

There are many studies already done which we can build upon. For example the Economic impact of open source software on innovation and the competitiveness of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector in the EU at  http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/sectors/ict/files/2006-11-20-flossimpact_en.pdf

So any ideas/inputs greatly welcome.

A common strategy of proprietary vendors is giving nearly for free their products for education and training, for example the agreements proposed by Microsoft to Italian universities [1] and the Italian Ministry of education [2] - I'm sure they propose similar agreements all around the world but I cite the Italian example because in the past few days has raised the indignation of many, although this doesn't come as new because such agreements have been in place for several years now and they are only renewed from time to time. In order to make an estimation of the real cost that such an agreement implies, you can not refer to the agreement itself : you would read that the proprietary vendor "donates" something, and the government receives without giving nothing. The hidden cost, however, is the missed empowerment of a generation, that will most likely depend upon the software that they have learned to use at school. How would you quantify this economically? This is a tough problem!
I only cited Microsoft but there are plenty of examples, in nearly any field of application. In GIS the impact is even worse because it's a more specialized software, therefore if you want to move to open source having learned proprietary, the learning curve is steeper.
Anyway, I would like to thank you for bringing this up, because it's utterly important to speak about this. Furthermore, analysing the "market of open source software" is extremely interesting, if you consider how relatively new is, and new models of business could be considered also learning from the strategies of proprietary vendors.

[1] http://www.microsoft.com/it-it/education/leadership/accordo-microsoft-crui/default.aspx#fbid=oGMOM9RxpgQ
[2] http://www.repubblica.it/tecnologia/2015/05/29/news/accordo_miur_microsoft-115578889/
Best regards,

Dr. Margherita DI LEO
Scientific / technical project officer

European Commission - DG JRC
Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES)
Via Fermi, 2749
I-21027 Ispra (VA) - Italy - TP 261

Tel. +39 0332 78 3600
margherita.di-leo at jrc.ec.europa.eu<mailto:margherita.di-leo at jrc.ec.europa.eu>

Disclaimer: The views expressed are purely those of the writer and may not in any circumstance be regarded as stating an official position of the European Commission.
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