Open Source: Big-Vendor Strategies Intrigue Governments

first_imgWith few exceptions, federal and state governments have been hesitant to adopt Open Source.  The Apache web server is one exception of Open Source that has been successfully deployed widely within government, but beyond that, Open Source adoption has been fairly limited.Governments have viewed Open Source as something too risky and not very well understood.  But as big-name vendors like IBM, Sun Microsystems, Novell, Unisys, and Oracle have begun building major product strategies around Open Source, governments are giving Open Source a second look.  Large systems integrators that work with governments are beginning to frequently use Open Source on their commercial accounts.  Governments see the support and acceptance from these vendors and integrators as a validation that Open Source can be used in ways that can provide significant value. They also can see value in Open Source because it tends to be more flexible with more frequent release cycles and lower total costs than proprietary software solutions.And vendors are providing solid support and indemnification of Open Source.  For example, IBM has hundereds of developers involved in Open Source, and Sun has Open Sourced their Solaris Unix operating systems, Java and other software tools. As large vendors and integrators become involved in developing for and responding to government requests for proposals, it is likely that we will see more and more government acceptance of Open Source solutions.last_img