One of the most important questions that arise when organizations try to adopt open source systems is: What is the way to start introducing this software into the work system?

Introducing open source software into a business environment doesn't have to be a complicated process. This software can be just as safe as closed source software, with greater benefits. The lower cost and participatory nature of this software may allow for faster innovation and higher reliability, leading to improved efficiency across the business.

Here are general guidelines for organizations to start embracing the open source concept:

1. Enterprise size assessment: Companies of all sizes can benefit from open source software. Undoubtedly, open source software is changing the way SMEs operate, by lowering the cost of starting a business, offering more customizations, providing access to robust technology communities and providing better tools.

Program Sub category Suggested programs
Infrastructure software Desktop OS Ubuntu
Server OS CentOS
Virtualization Technology oVirt
Infrastructure Monitoring Zabbix
Email Server Zimbra Email Server
Email Client Zimbra Email
Database MySQL
Backup and Restore Bacula
Network software   Network Essentials  DHCP, Bind, NTP, firewalld
Directory Server  IPA 
 Corporate systems   Content Management System   Wordpress
ERP System  ERPNext 
Helpdesk  OTRS 
 Developers systems  Integrated Development Environments  Eclipse 
 Task and share systems     Knowledge Management  wiki 
Software Planning / Tracking Openproject 
 Team Collaboration Cyn.in 
 Code Versioning Systems Git 
 Issue/Bug Tracking Openproject 
Web systems    Web servers Apache 
Java Application Servers  Tomcat 
 Office and multimedia software systems   Office Applications LibreOffice 
 Image Processing and Photo Editing GIMP 
 Security systems  Virus Scanners ClamAV 

Large companies

Program Sub category Suggested programs
Infrastructure software           Desktop OS Ubuntu
Server OS  CentOS 
 Virtualization Technology  oVirt
Cloud Infrastructure Openstack + Ceph 
 Infrastructure Monitoring Nagios 
 Email Server Zimbra Email Server 
 Email Client Zimbra Email 
Database  MySQL 
 Backup and Restore Bacula 
 Analytics / Log Analysis Elastic Stack 
 In-Memory Caching Server  memcached
 Network software     Network Essentials DHCP, Bind, NTP, firewalld 
 Directory Server LDAP / 389-ds 
VOIP/PBX Asterisk
Corporate systems    Content Management System Wordpress
eCommerce Magento
Document Management System Alfresco
ERP System Odoo
Project Management Redmine
Helpdesk OTRS
ITSM iTop 
 Web/Video Conference  Openmeetings
 Developers systems    Integrated Development Environments Eclipse 
Text Editor  Emacs 
  Task and share systems         Knowledge Management   wiki
 Software Planning / Tracking Openproject 
 Team Collaboration Cyn.in 
 Code Versioning Systems Git 
 Issue/Bug Tracking Openproject 
Source Code Repositories  GitLab 
 Continuous Integration / Continuous Development Jenkins 
 Platform as a Service (PAAS) Openshift 
 Diagramming Software Modelio 
Big data systems   Infrastructure Hadoop 
 Web systems         Web servers Apache 
Java Application Servers  JBoss 
 Web Proxy Squid Proxy 
 Single Sign-on  CAS
 Messaging and Brokers  Apache ActiveMQ
Office Applications  LibreOffice 
Office and multimedia software systems     Image Processing and Photo Editing  GIMP 
 Remote Desktop TigerVNC 
 CAD Design LibreCAD, FreeCAD 
Diagram Building  LibreOffice Draw 
Security systems         Virus Scanner ClamAV 
 Information and Event Management (SEIM) Elastic Stack 
Intrusion Detection System  OSSEC 
 Network Scanners Nmap 
Disk Encryption Tool   VeraCrypt
 Vulnerability Scanner Vulnerability Scanner 
 Penetration Testing Metasploit 
 Phishing Tools Gophish 

2. Targeting a specific timeline for implementation: Companies should follow a specific schedule when adopting that software with a goal set (either complete or partial transformation). Firms and organizations should track the pace of transformation based on the size of the environment, its complexity, employee skill level, available budget, and other company-related factors.

3. Progressive implementation: One of the best tactics for adopting open source software is to switch gradually, targeting the most visible and easy-to-convert platforms first. There are many open source tools and systems that have become the de facto standard in the IT industry, such as the Linux operating system, shared networking platforms, some collaboration tools, and others.

If the goal is to fully migrate to open source systems, then it is usually the best practice to perform the conversion "bottom-up," meaning from infrastructure to application and programming environments. The following table shows the complete conversion of an organization, taking into consideration the conversion order, schedule, and some important tips for each conversion stage. It is important to note that schedule and order may vary depending on the size and complexity of the environment.

Arrangement The main category Sub category Duration Notes
Step 1 Infrastructure Server OS, Virtualization Technologies, Infrastructure Monitoring, Email Server, Backup and Restore. 12-18 Months

Several automation and transformation tools are available to aid in the transition to open source systems.

Training of administrators on the new systems is essential at this stage.

Step 2 Databases 3-6 Months

Applications should be thoroughly tested after converting the primary databases.

It is possible to gradually move from closed source programs to new programs.

Step 3 Network systems Directory Server (LDAP) 3-9 Months

The complexity of converting Active Directory to LDAP environments varies depending on the functionality used, and the number of users.

If the Active Directory environment is very complex, a specialist company should be consulted for assistance with the transition.

Step 4 VOIP/PBX 1-2 Months Mostly VOIP / PBX systems are standalone systems and can be switched at any time.
Step 5 Web systems

Web servers

Java Application Servers

3-6 Months It is essential at this stage to train end-users and developers.
Step 6 Single Sign-on 3-6 Months You may need software development and portals to integrate applications to work on single sign on
Step 7 Corporate systems Content Management System, Document Management System, Project Management 3-6 Months It is essential at this stage to train end-users and developers
Setp 8 ERP System 6-24 Months The complexity of transforming ERP systems varies from one organization to the other. It is advisable to hire specialized companies to assist in the transition to open source systems.
Step 9

Helpdesk

ITSM

2-6 Months  This step can be speeded up if the data is not migrated from the old ITSM systems to the new platforms. 
Step 10  Developer systems

 Integrated Development Environments

Text Editor

 One month  It is essential at this stage to train end-users and developers.
Step 11   Task and share systems          Knowledge Management, Software Planning and Tracking, Team Collaboration, Code Versioning Systems, Source Code Repositories, Continuous Integration / Continuous Development, Diagramming Software  6-12 Months It is essential at this stage to train end-users and developers. 
Step 12   Security systems  Virus Scanner, Information and Event Management (SEIM), Intrusion Detection System, Network Scanners, Disk Encryption Tool, Vulnerability Scanner, Penetration Testing, Phishing Tools  6-12 Months  It is possible to gradually move from closed source programs to new programs.

4. Reducing different platforms: Most developers strive to use the latest tools and applications for their software, but this desire conflicts with the goals of system operators who wish to standardize and reduce systems. Therefore, the organization should unify the efforts of the two teams by providing open source tools that facilitate the lives of developers, while at the same time adopting them in a coordinated and unified manner in order to improve the functionality and efficiency of the operations teams. 

5. Use system management tools for automation: Systems management tools help simplify and standardize IT operations. For example, it is possible to adopt a common control panel to view and monitor the status of systems in real time, and to discover the need for security or bug fixes. 

6. Focus on Information Security: Although there are strong arguments for how an open source model can provide a higher level of security than proprietary software, the weakness of open source software is that it is available to everyone, including hackers. Hence, security should be a primary criterion for evaluating and selecting open source software. 

7. The presence of support companies: By working with companies that support open source systems, they can be relied upon to support those systems, and benefit from their experience with other customers. Additional application features can also be requested and implemented by these companies.