Until recently, organizations planning to acquire enterprise application software (EAS) have had no choice but to adopt proprietary, on-premises software. With the advent of open-source and on-demand solutions in different EAS markets, new models for developing and distributing software have entered the stage providing IT purchasing managers with more degrees of freedom in EAS selection. While there is a large body of research in EAS selection, existing research has so far neglected to integrate these new options into their investigations. Our empirical study addresses this research gap by comparing how IS purchasing managers evaluate the relative fulfillment of critical selection criteria by traditional, open-source, and on-demand Office suites. Based on an analytic hierarchy process model (AHP) that was empirically tested with a random sample of 254 IS (purchasing) managers, we found, overall, that open-source solutions are neck and neck with traditional Office suites that both outrivaled the on-demand software model. Interestingly, the on-demand solution was first choice based on the fulfillment of implementation criteria, while the open-source solution was the dominant alternative in the fulfillment of package attributes. Finally, IS managers rated functionality and support as most important evaluation criteria in Office suite selection, while cost ranked only fifth.
Benlian, Alexander, "Which Type of Software Model is First Choice? An AHP-based Comparison of Traditional, Open-Source, and On-Demand Office Suites on the Fulfillment of Evaluation Criteria" (2010). ECIS 2010 Proceedings. 149.