A Study on the Problems and Policy Implementation for Open-Source Software Industry in Korea: Soft System Methodology Approach

Songhee Kang, Dongnyok Shim, Pill Ho Pack


In knowledge based society, information technology (IT) has been playing a key role in economic growth. In recent years, it is surprisingly notable that the source of value creation moved from hardware to software in IT industry. Especially, among many kinds of software products, the economic potential of open source was realized by many government agencies. Open source means software codes made by voluntary and open participation of worldwide IT developers, and many policies to promote open source activities were implemented for the purpose of fast growth in IT industry. But in many cases, especially in Korea, the policies promoting open source industry and its ecosystem were not considered successful. Therefore, this study provides the practical reasons for the low performance of Korean open source industry and suggests the pragmatic requisites for effective open source policy.
For this purpose, this study applies soft system model (SSM) which is frequently used in academy and industry as a methodology for problem-solving and we link the problems with corresponding policy solutions based on SSM. Given concerns which Korean open source faces now, this study suggests needs for the three different kinds of government policies promoting multiple dimensions of industry: research and development (R&D)-side, supply-side, and computing environment-side. The implications suggested by this research will contribute to implement the practical policy solutions to boost open source industry in Korea.

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