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Free and Open Source Software and Technology for Sustainable Development

image of Free and Open Source Software and Technology for Sustainable Development
Free and open source software (FOSS) technologies transcend geographical and cultural boundaries to usher in a new paradigm where volunteers collaboratively develop software for the commons. The political economy of FOSS technologies has far-reaching implications because of the centrality of information and communications technologies for development (ICT4D). The global trend in the diffusion and adoption of FOSS technologies is a testimony to the socio-economic and technological impact the software has for both developed and developing economies. While FOSS development, education and business potentials may appear as a phenomenon for the developed world, a sizable number of developing countries have undertaken bold measures to bring about innovation, sustainable ICT development and technology independence.

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Adoption and diffusion patterns of FOSS in Jamaican SMEs: A study of perceptions, attitudes and barriers

As far as developing countries are concerned, over the last decade two trends have been highlighted as conduits for economic growth and development: the expanding use of information and communication technology (ICT), and the survival and competitiveness of small and medium- sized enterprises (SMEs). With the onset of the knowledge economy, where economic growth is increasingly dependent on a country’s capacity to create, process, accumulate and disseminate knowledge, together with the accelerated pace of globalization, companies that are slow to adopt ICT as an integral part of their business operations and capabilities, or adapt to the increased competitive dynamics and complexity of the way modern business is conducted, will find it difficult to survive. Newer technologies, especially the internet with its ubiquitous character, have resulted in easier access to and lower costs of ICT. As such, information and communications technologies for development (ICT4D) have been widely touted as a means to accelerate development in countries and competitiveness in organizations, in particular SMEs.

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