The introduction of internet technology has fundamentally changed the software industry. Instead of using the traditional licensing business model, software firms now compete with a wide variety of models, such as Software-as-a-Service, open source software models and virtual communities. However, there is yet very limited research on these new approaches. This exploratory paper contributes to the discussion on software business models and virtual communities by developing a taxonomy of how virtual communities are used as part of a business model. Using survey data collected from the Finnish software industry, a cluster analysis of the data reveals four different ways that firms utilize virtual communities in their business. The resulting high-level taxonomy contributes towards an understanding of the role of virtual communities in contemporary software firm business models.
Laine, Mikko O.J.; Ronkko, Mikko; and Valtakoski, Aku, "Software Firm Business Models with Virtual Communities" (2009). AMCIS 2009 Proceedings. 661.