Open source software - a social responsibility?

LibreOffice CalcOver the last ten or so years, I have had opportunity to be employed by, or work with a range of NGO, academic, and faith based organisations in less economically advantaged countries. These organisations had a common feature. They were all large organisations (500 plus) working with people, either in or being groomed to work with, the wider community. They also all used the big name proprietary office and other software which is mostly not affordable in the wider community. With the cost of proprietary software, the use of pirated versions of these proprietary packages is rampant in the wider communities… and the lack of adequate antivirus protection makes the whole situation a serious productivity issue…. and moral dilemma.

Excellent free and open source software (FOSS) alternatives are available… From experience, I suggest some of the issues facing FOSS adoption relate to awareness, reluctance to change, and change management processes.

The question...or maybe challenge is better... is whether community focussed organistions can drive wider community improvements by showing leadership in use of FOSS!

Tag: foss

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