Inner Source paper forthcoming in TOSEM

Inner Source paper forthcoming in TOSEM


Key Factors for Adopting Inner Source


KLAAS-JAN STOL, University of Limerick

PARIS AVGERIOU, University of Groningen

MUHAMMAD ALI BABAR, IT University of Copenhagen

YAN LUCAS, Neopost Technologies

BRIAN FITZGERALD, University of Limerick



A number of organizations have adopted Open Source Software (OSS) development practices to support or augment their software development processes, a phenomenon frequently referred to as Inner Source. However the adoption of Inner Source is not a straightforward issue. Many organizations are struggling with the question of whether Inner Source is an appropriate approach to software development for them in the first place. This paper presents a framework derived from the literature on Inner Source, which identifies nine important factors that need to be considered when implementing Inner Source. The framework can be used as a ‘probing’ instrument to assess an organization on these nine factors so as to gain an understanding of whether or not Inner Source is suitable. We applied the framework in three case studies at Philips Healthcare, Neopost Technologies, and Rolls-Royce, which are all large organizations that have either adopted Inner Source or were planning to do so. Based on the results presented in this paper, we outline directions for future research.