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Strategic Assessment of the South African Open Source Software Market
Frost & Sullivan, October 2007, Pages: 40
This Frost & Sullivan research service titled South African Open Source Software Market examines the extent of OSS applications in the country. The study examines market drivers and restraints and details the expected trends for the next two to six years. An analysis of key competitors provides the reader with in-depth market information.
Expert Frost & Sullivan analysts thoroughly examine the following market sectors in this research:
Open Source Software:
-Potential for new market entrants
Government’s Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) Policy Encouraging Growth
The South African open source software (OSS) market is highly dynamic, with a healthy competition in all sectors. While the debate between OSS and proprietary software continues to rage, industry participants seem to be ignoring this power play to some extent by offering services for both OSS and proprietary software. The emergence of hybrid systems utilising both types of software is common and market leaders have begun to capitalise on this trend. Crucially for the market, market leaders are demanding the development of software according to open standards to ensure interoperability between all types of applications. What is more, the government’s new FOSS policy states that all software developed for it henceforth must be based on open standards. Frost & Sullivan expects OSS to flourish as a result.
However, limited access to the Internet is curtailing OSS collaboration, thereby challenging its advancement. Furthermore, though there are almost no limits in terms of the capabilities of OSS, the software is not as mature as its proprietary counterparts. "The impact of this challenge is most felt in situations where a specialised type of software is required for a large project – for instance an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system in a government department," notes the analyst of this research service. "The necessary support, expertise and software capacity is not consistently available yet, but this challenge will mitigate with the passage of time."
Cost Savings Driving Adoption among Small and Medium sized Manufacturing Enterprises (SMMEs)
Given their price-sensitive nature, the SMME segment is the most dynamic of the OSS end-user segments in South Africa. Innovative SMMEs are more likely to be early adopters of OSS, which could be a tool for promoting innovation within their organizations. In fact, many companies acting as end users are software developers that have enhanced the software for their own purposes. This segment apart, Frost & Sullivan believes the public sector to prove to be the most interesting in terms of OSS developments. In this sector, OSS could see wide spread usage in areas related to education, healthcare and citizen information. For instance, the installation of OSS in schools could reduce information and communication technology (ICT) costs.
Going forward, Frost & Sullivan expects the use of OSS to expand, as more users become familiar with the technology. While this is especially true of the Linux desktop and programmes such as Mozilla Firefox, the increased use of OSS in backend systems of corporates is also expected. "Frost & Sullivan believes an increased incidence of hybrid systems (mix of OSS and proprietary software) will be in evidence and this is likely to occur in the medium to long term of the forecast period," says the analyst. "Successful proof of concept programmes and completed projects will assist in building a "sales pitch" to draw new OSS users."
-1. Strategic Assessment of the South AfricanOpen Source Software Market
---1. Study Highlights
---1. Study Objectives and Scope
---2. Market Definitions
---3. Research Methodology
---2. OSS Value Chain
---3. Market Challenges
---4. Market Drivers
---5. Market Restraints
--4. OSS in the South African Context
---1. Government’s FOSS Policy
---2. Benefits of OSS to South Africa
---3. Organisations Promoting OSS in South Africa
--5. Significant OSS Projects
--6. OSS versus Proprietary Debate
--7. End-user Analysis
---1. Public Sector
--8. Competitive Analysis
---1. Competitive Landscape
---2. Factors Impacting Competition
---3. Competitor Profiles
---4. CompetitiveBest Practices
---2. Emerging Participants
---3. Strategic Recommendations