Assessing adoption of open source software for running core ICT systems of a government agency: a case of Zambia revenue authority.

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Chijikwa, Mweene
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The University of Zambia
Zambia Revenue Authority has continued procuring expensive proprietary enterprise software solutions from big private companies like Oracle, SAP, and TATA, while there is alternative software. This problem has been compounded with inadequate funding from government of Republic of Zambia. The purpose of this research was to study how to reduce costs of running the core ICT systems of a government agency using open source software: A case of Zambia Revenue Authority. The literature was reviewed and Open Innovation model was adopted for the research. The research was carried out using the philosophy of Pragmatism. Questionnaires, interviews and document reviews were deployed to collect data. The targeted population of 67 participants were given questionnaires and in addition, some were interviewed. The findings are; the major costs incurred are on acquiring software are; training, licenses, deployment costs. Major software characteristics that are considered when acquiring software are; stability and reliability, security, functionality and customer Support. 18.44% of respondents indicated that it was stability and reliability of the software that was critical when considering the software to purchase, and then 17.19% said that it was security.It was also noted that 51.56% of respondents agreed that ICT policy guides the Authority when buying software. It was further observed that the Authority still acquire the proprietary software because of customer support, updates and patches, technical skills. The customer support had 19% of responses, Updates and patches 18%, Security 16%, Staff technical skills 13% and Functionality had 12.7%. In conclusion, the research helped in understanding the costs involved in the purchase of the software, major characteristics considered, understand the motives for not adopting alterative software The Proprietary software bought at Zambia Revenue Authority is expensive compared to Open source software and this has been supported by the reviewed literature and statistical tests carried out. The research recommends the following; Zambia Revenue Authority must put a deliberate programme/policy in place to ensure employees with responsibility to evaluate the software to procure to evaluate all the options of software or solutions available. The Authority must conduct seminars and workshops bi-annual to sensitise the employee in decision-making positions about the benefits of open source software
Thesis of Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Management Strategy