The obstacles to Open Source in the public sector

I blogged earlier this month and asked whether systems integrators are holding back the adoption of Open Source in government?

This is what some respondents had to say about systems integrators and Open Source software:

“Systems integrators are not holding back the take up of Open Source in the public sector it is just paranoid rubbish.”

“I am sure some systems integrators are holding Open Source in the public sector back, however I know that the more progressive systems integrators aren’t.”

“I think systems integrators are holding back Open Source. I have no examples but industry sees public sector as a cash cow.”

“The government IT capability is rarely willing to challenge the views of system integrators.”

“Money is the reason system integrators hold back Open Source. With open source their profits go down.”

“System integrators are holding Open Source back.  Particularly the reseller SIs who have a significant conflict of interest to deal with and will erode sales margins by doing so. Equally the government employs consultants who aren’t oriented towards open source solutions but aligned and accredited to vendor programmes.”

I also asked people which apps could be moved to open source in the public sector. Here are some of the suggestions:

“In the NHS, most apps are now being brought out as web apps. Upgrading Office suites costs so much and Open office does everything that a standard user could ever want to so.

“Office suite desktop.”

“All of it.”

“Low end repetitive task administration functions.”

“Desktop computing, online services. Some back-office systems.”

“Email and cloud.”

This is what some of the respondents that believe the take-up of Open Source software in the oublic sector will increase gave as reasons:

“Basic economics.”

“We can’t afford to upgrade our current Microsoft fleet of applications but need to move forward.”

“Governments cannot afford not to in the face of economic conditions.”

“They are already using it.”

Some of the respondents that do not see Open Source increasing in the public sector gave these reasons:

“Too often the spec has a line ‘use Oracle’ etc.”

“I work in local government IT and there is massive pressure to stay with Windows because nobody in-house knows Linux.”

“Cannot see the mechanisms through which Open source will be actively driven and supported on any significant scale.”

“Support and integration costs of Open Source software are too high.”

Read this Computer Weekly blog by Mark Ballard for more on the Open Source in government debate.

If you want to give your opinions please fill in the questionnaire below.