Locked in by choice: Why the Italian Defence Department is switching to open source office

Italy’s  Defence Department  began migrating to open source software in September 2015. It aims to replace Microsoft Office on 100,000 desktops with LibreOffice by 2020.

Geneal Camillo Sileo was the man behind the decision to switch to open source. LibreDifesa - the name of his digital migration project - is a success, he says.

“We have conducted a study and we have concluded that Microsoft Office and Libre Office were just as good for our needs.”

The advantage of open source is that the code can be tailored to the needs of each organisation. “There should be a willingness to move towards that.”

The Defence Department expects to save Italian taxpayers up to 29 million euros by switching to Libre office.

The Italian army still uses 20.000 Microsoft licenses, which will expire in 2020, when Sileo expects Microsoft to start an intense lobbying campaign to persuade the department to return to Microsoft Office.

Read the full story by Investigate Europe on Computer Weekly here >>

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