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Open Source: Time For Government To Practise What It Preaches [Jan 2,2012]

Submitted on
lundi, le 2 janvier 2012h
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Business Computing World

Open source projects have long been at a disadvantage in the public sector in comparison to solutions offered by long-established proprietary software vendors. This issue was underlined in a recent interview1 with Robin Pape, chief information officer for the Home Office, who identified the cultural barriers standing in the way of IT chiefs considering utilising the advantages of open source.

But with budget cuts looming and economic constraints, isn’t it time that the Government looked towards cost effective open source solutions to make those much needed savings?

For dedicated open source developers, there is light at the end of the tunnel. With the launch of the Government’s open source toolkit to enable the assessment of projects, departments are required to ensure that open source options are considered alongside traditional solutions for every IT investment.

Added to this, the well documented catalogue of pricey vendor lock-in stories, costing billions of pounds, are a catalyst to public sector departments looking elsewhere for the best IT deals. In this context, it’s surprising then that the overall UK Government approach to open source solutions has been rather lax, especially in view of the potentially vast cost-savings it can create.

This landmark launch of the open source toolkit firmly cements the developer communities’ reputation as a reliable and – more importantly – cost efficient alternative to proprietary software, yet there are few examples of the toolkit being readily put into action.

Other European countries and the US have already made great strides in engaging with the open source community in delivering innovative new solutions to cuts costs and improve public services online.

The Netherlands and France have successfully embraced open source to deliver greater value through collaboration and efficiency to the taxpayer. Whilst in the US, open source communities, such as Drupal, run a large amount of government sites safely and securely as the approved and standardised platform.

There is evidence that the UK Government also recognises advantages of open source go beyond simple cost-savings. The Cabinet Office has documented the benefits of open source through the commissioning of joint research2 with the London School of Economics into the total cost of ownership of open source software.

A key finding of the two year study, examining members from the community of firms offering support services to public bodies, is that many early adopters of open source applications in the public sector also experience reduced vendor lock-in as a key benefit and argument for open-source adoption.

Interestingly, the report also suggests that the adoption of open source helps foster a culture of innovation and empowerment once local authorities are more accepting of mistakes that can be identified and rectified quickly by hand-on access to code and configurations.

It seems only right that in a time when budgets are being slashed, the Government recognises its own open source guidance. The philosophy of working with a willing community for the greater good underpins the values of the Government’s own Big Society agenda, so it seems about time this is put into firm practise, and the communities are allowed to deliver faster and more efficient solutions for users in a public and collaborative manner.

Getting beyond "free" - UK government uptake of open source

Misplaced priorities hampering UK government uptake of open source

According to a computing.co.uk article entitled Open Source: The government's commitment so far, most of the IT technology used in the UK government is still proprietary and comes from single vendors.

Open Source adoption by government agencies in the UK is progressing, but is still being hindered by a focus on "free as in gratis". Decisions based on cost-of-acquisition alone ignore the other real and more important values offered by open source, which are derived from "free as in freedom".

Readdressing the Public Sector’s Sourcing Strategy [Dec 1, 2011]

Submitted on
jeudi, le 1 decembre 2011h
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SourcingFocus.com

Jim Shaw, General Manager Europe at Acquia, says it's easy to see why IT managers are seeking alternative approaches to traditional procurement programs.

Where is Drupal Heading? [Nov 30, 2011]

Submitted on
mercredi, le 30 novembre 2011h
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PC Quest

The famous CMS platform doesn't need an introduction to web administrators, but where is it heading, and how does it compare with other well-known CMS platforms like Joomla! and WordPress? We spoke to the creator of Drupal in person to find out.

What's Coming for Open Source CMS in December 2011 [Nov 30, 2011]

Submitted on
mercredi, le 30 novembre 2011h
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CMS Wire

CMS Wire highlights Drupal adoption and growth in India, as well as the Acquia U career development program in its December 2011 Open Source preview.

FedScoop interview with Tim Bertrand, Acquia [Nov 23, 2011]

Submitted on
mercredi, le 23 novembre 2011h
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FedScoop

Tim Bertrand, VP Worldwide Field Sales at Acquia, discusses why Open Source software is an important option for government, how Acquia supports the growth of Open Source in government, and top recommendations to those exploring Open Source options in government.

Embracing the Big open-source Society [Nov 22, 2011]

Submitted on
mardi, le 22 novembre 2011h
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CRN

A "big" and relatively debt-free society would be fostered by embracing open source, says Jim Shaw, General Manager Europe at Acquia.

Drupal and Linux: Lessons learned for building open source communities [Nov 17, 2011]

Submitted on
jeudi, le 17 novembre 2011h
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Opensource.com

In today's Open Your World Forum webcast, Chris Grams moderated a discussion between Michael Tiemann and Dries Buytaert about how Linux and Drupal have evolved as two thriving open source communities competing in the enterprise world.

Dead Men Walking or Walking Dead: Can Old School Enterprise CMS Vendors Really Change? [Nov 10, 2011]

Submitted on
jeudi, le 10 novembre 2011h
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CMS Wire

When I saw the headline of the Forrester article proclaiming the death of the enterprise CMS suite, I couldn't help but both be pleased with myself, and feel a little sorry for the analysts. After all, I scooped them and proclaimed the exact same thing a little more than three weeks before.

Fear of vendor lock-in is legitimate cloud concern - don't be bullied [Oct 14, 2011]

Submitted on
vendredi, le 14 octobre 2011h
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Tech Target

Tech Target features Chris Brookins, Acquia VP of Engineering and Product Management, in a discussion about cloud computing, open SaaS and PaaS, and vendor lock-in following the Mass Technology Leadership Council's Cloud Computing Summit.

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