Развитие национального рынка программного обеспечения: альтернативы государственной политики
Currently, the governments of a number of countries, including Russia, consider the promotion of open source software as an important policy tool for the development of information and communication technologies (ICT). Since 2010, our country has been implementing an initiative to create a National software platform focused on the development of applications based on Open Source and their enforcement in public administration. The article assesses the effectiveness of public policy in the field of open-source software and provides recommendations for its improvement.
Analyzing the specifics of the functioning of the software market, comparing the strengths and weaknesses of its two main segments — proprietary ("closed") and open, as well as possible "extreme" policy approaches in relation to the latter (direct stimulation or complete withdrawal of the state from regulating the choice of users), the authors conclude that no mandatory approach is indubitable. It is necessary to take into account the not only software development itself, but also the entire complex of complementary assets that determine the economic effect of innovation. Only the joint work of suppliers and consumers on the introduction of new technologies (co-invention) creates synergy, which is a key condition for the effective use of information technologies in the economy and the development of the ICT sector as a whole. Consequently, protectionism (stimulating the producer by limiting consumer choice) is fundamentally inconsistent with the specifics of the sector, and the forced transition to new software will result in significant losses in terms of the associated switching costs and lost benefits from network effects. At the same time, indirect measures, such as informing users and supporting the dissemination of open standards, are more likely to increase customer choice by reducing the cost of switching from one software to another. Such mechanisms are not only compatible with the specifics of the market in question, but also make it possible to derive maximum benefit from it, both for producers and consumers.