Barriers to FOSS Adoption in Quebec and elsewhere?


G. Paré et al. published in Februar 2009 an insightful article about the “Barriers to Open Source Software Adoption in Quebec’s Health Care Organizations” (PDF) in the Journal of Medical Systems. Their abstract reads like this:

“We conducted in-depth interviews with 15 CIOs to identify the principal impediments to adoption of open source software in the Quebec health sector. We found that key factors for not adopting an open source solution were closely linked to the orientations of ministry level policy makers and a seeming lack of information on the part of operational level IT managers concerning commercially oriented open source providers. We use the case of recent changes in the structure of Quebec’s health care organizations and a change in the commercial policies of a key vendor to illustrate our conclusions regarding barriers to adoption of open source products.”

Although the study was carried out just for a small region in Canada, I think the results can also be seen in a much wider context. The identified barriers are preventing the adoption of FOSS in health care in many parts of the world (especially in industrialized countries). Subsequent is a table listing these. The third column represents the percentage of respondents that cited the given barrier. In total there have been 15 respondents, all of them have been CIOs at health care organizations in the area of Quebec:

Rank Barrier Percentage of respondents
1 Lack of internal IT resources and expertise 100%
2 Internal and external political pressure 93%
3 Lack of reliable information about open source products 80%
4 Conservative nature of health care CIOs 73%
5 Lack of a responsible third party 67%
6 Individualistic and competitive culture 60%
7 Hidden costs of open source products 53%

For details about these barriers and how the study was carried out please refer to the original article. Would be interesting to have a similar study for regions here in Europe …

[photo taken from]