Hmmm is it similar situation here with our Government?
The government market is more
than willing to dive into open source software (OSS) but providers will
have to work for the opportunity.
Speaking at LinuxWorld in
Sydney, Department of Finance and Administration's Patrick Callioni
said the OSS community could no longer blame government for its slow
adoption of offerings like Linux.
"It's partly government's
laziness and a lack of sophistication, but I'm sick of hearing that
government is not doing enough to promote open source," he said.
similar calls at LinuxWorld for the professionalisation of open source,
Callioni said it was up to the OSS community to become more
business-like and to set up new ways to help government overcome the
challenges faced in adopting the technology.
to do business, but a lot of open source companies are here today and
gone tomorrow," he said. "They need to set up co-op arrangements with
similar companies to back each other up. We need to see things that
work and can offer a long-term proposition."
Callioni said the
Government had a position of informed neutrality in which there was
neither a reason not to consider open source software nor to only buy
"As former Chinese premier Deng Xiao Ping once
said, 'it doesn't matter what colour the cat is as long as it catches
the mouse'," he said.
Callioni said a number of barriers still
stood in the way of greater adoption of open source software by local,
state and federal governments.
"Doing business with government
isn't easy, especially with the Australian Government," he said. "There
are 180 to 190 agencies and they range from one and a half people in
size up to the tens of thousands."
A lack of open source
champions within government was also a challenge, as was the high price
of the tendering process, the number of proprietary legacy systems and
ongoing IP and copyright issues, he said.
attorneys are not very good so a lot of bureaucrats have to rely on bad
legal advice," he said. "Those agencies which do deploy open source are
often doing it for the first time so they are also very careful to
protect their own butts and tax payer dollars."
challenges faced by the open source community, Callioni predicted that
open standards would however prevail over proprietary code.
a student of systems theory and it tells me that in the long run, open
source will win out and closed source will die," he said. "But do we
really want to rely on evolutionary forces to take their course?"