It seems that the UK Government has finally acknowledged the benefits of open source software applications in bringing the IT operation costs down, with the Minister for Digital Engagement Tom Watson releasing a significant document that placed the open source platform at par with that of proprietary forms of procurement.
Quoting the use of open source software in saving some cash, Watson said that though the open source couldn’t be treated as the remedy for all and is not the only solution to IT problems, it could definitely help the government in saving some money on IT operations.
Along the same line, he said in a statement, “However, by levelling the playing field and allowing Open Source to be as competitive as possible we can ensure that taxpayers get maximum value for money from Government IT, something that is more important than ever during the worldwide financial climate”.
However, it must be noticed that he didn’t recognize open source as a prime development or a model, but as an entity that could help the government and people to save some cash.
Besides, government’s policy revolves around three aspects, namely Open Source software, which incorporates 10 actions that will help make sure the best value for investment; Open Standards, which ensures the inter-operability of the systems; and Re-use, which includes utilizing the already existing equipments.
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The recession has caused the government to show more acumen when it comes to spending taxpayers money. Thrift is the word of the day and open source undoubtedly saves money. Maybe the government should get a Director of Open Source Engagement, in a move similar to the post of Director of Digital Engagement which it advertised a few days ago.