Final Thesis: A Method to Determine the Return on Investement of Inner Source

Abstract: Inner source is the use of open source software developing practices in proprietary software development across organizational borders. A significant amount of
companies are adopting inner source. Some companies already utilize inner source practices without a coordinated effort to adopt inner source. It is unclear if the gains of inner source outweight the costs of running and adopting it because there is no quantitative method to determine the return on investment for inner source yet. In this paper, we develop a quantitative method to determine the return on investment of inner source. We followed a four phase research approach: First, we conducted a methodological literature review to collect methods and best practices on how to create a return on investment model. Second, we performed a exploratory literature review to identify typical inner source costs and gains. Third, we hypothesized formulas to quantify the costs and gains. Fourth, we prepared but not fully conducted an industry case study to evaluate the method. We provide a methode on how to determine the gains and costs induced by inner source and on how to aggregate them to the return on investment value. We evaluated our method at an organization already adopting inner source. As the results were inconclusive, we suggest further research on evaluating the method. This paper contains the first method to determine the return on investment for inner source.

Keywords: Software engineering, open source, inner source, return on investement

PDFs: Master Thesis, Thesis Description

Reference: Sebastian Duda. A Method to Determine the Return on Investement of Inner Source. Bachelor Thesis, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg: 2017.

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