Day 2: Indicators and Risks

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This section summarizes the outcomes of the workshop discussions (as recalled afterwards), and provides an opportunity for you to share your comments, edits, additions and further thoughts and ideas.

This is a temporary project wiki for ict@innovation, until the programme will have its own web-section connected to the FOSSFA portal.

FLOSSBusiness - provides detailed thoughts on the issue by one of the working groups and a venue for wide collaboration and knowledge sharing.

Summarized discussion points are added (> bullet points).


1. Number and relevance of captured business models, which are promising within African context

  • You first need to establish your baselines against which to measure your success.

2. Numbers of modules of open, relevant and hands-on training material

3. Number of intermediaries with improved knowledge base and problem solving abilities

4. Number of national follow-up trainings on the topics of the training

Additional: - Percentage of women acting as trainers and within FOSS-SMEs - Number of IT-SME getting key knowledge through follow-up trainings and adapting the skills to their situation - First steps towards change of attitude towards innovation, open approaches and a give-and-take culture (esp. through module "How to innovate through open approaches") --> more measurably proxy indicators to be developed

  • You should formulate your indicators like any venture-capitalist: measure return on investment; that would mean - how much more do the training institutions earn with including the FOSS trainings, because this is indeed a measure of success, this will mean that courses are being asked for as well as conducted, and that the training institutions earn money with them <> there was some debate on this, if revenue of the training institution is really the indicator to measure (e.g. for universities)
  • add: Percentage of SME clients that have "bought" FOSS services / solutions

Risks (for entire ict-innovation)

1. Ability of local IT-SMEs to adapt to rapid cycles of innovation, changes of business models -> Influencing factor to reduce the risks: The main focus of the planned activities lies on activities that reduce this risk, like developing of skills concerning business models, communication and change of attitude and alternative approaches

  • This is a risk for all businesses.

2. Lack of structure and budget of national FOSS-/IT-intermediaries impeding outreach to large numbers of local IT-SMEs -> Influencing factor to reduce the risks: Building on existing structures, strict criteria for selection procedures for regional intermediaries, who have interest and necessary structural requirements, support of regional intermediaries, continuous monitoring of project management,

3. Lack of interest of IT-SME in FOSS-certification and lack of resources for training activities -> Influencing factor to reduce the risks: co-financing of follow-up trainings until a critical number of certified IT-SME makes an impact and can serve as a model role

  • Participants said that there would be interest among IT-SME.

4. Lack of awareness of possibilities to address ICT needs with adapted FOSS solutions on client side, i.e. client demand not recognized and expressed -> Influencing factor to reduce the risks: Integration of a communication/marketing module in trainings; integration of a module of praxis-related activities within locally relevant FOSS-solutions (proof of concept)

  • confirmation: there needs to be a component on how to build your own market

Additional: - Insufficient growth of local economy for IT-products &services for SMEs and public administration - Ability of local IT-SMEs to adapt to investments in FOSS-development - Ability of local IT-developers and experts to change working culture and business models towards open approaches - IT infrastructure, hardware, grade of diffusion of alternative forms of software (proprietary vendors). - Insufficient skills level of local trainers and IT-SMEs for international FOSS certification schemes.

  • This was confirmed as a valid risk.

- Difference of structure of national African markets for IT-services, which requires different business models - Lacking demand by IT-SMEs in FOSS-certification. - Political conditions for innovation and development of modern IT-service industry, pressure from vendors of proprietary software - Uneven skill level of local software-developers to manage FOSS solutions

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