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Top 3 reasons Government agencies adopt open source technology

Michael Santana, BD Executive I Ashnik
Singapore, 8 Dec 2013

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Having been involved in few engagements with some Government agencies in the region, I noticed that more and more of them are turning their eyes on open source technologies. And based on our observations, here are the top 3 reasons why the change of heart:

1. Cost effective. Services offered by Government are generally provided free for the public. Imagine if you run Governments like corporations, these free services can be considered as cost centers. Now the question is, why would you spend a fortune on a proprietary solution when you can get the same excellent service with a more cost effective open source alternative? There are lots of open source alternatives out there that perform as good if not better than its closed source counterparts. At least they can put taxpayers’ money into better use (eg. adding more free services!)

2. Better build. I wouldn’t say that all open source products are good or all proprietary software are bad. But, if you have thousands of eyes reviewing your code, you are more likely to be motivated to write a better code. And in software houses where pressures are mounting to deliver, there are greater temptations to make a low quality quick fix to meet deadlines. Opting for the right open source solution will definitely rewarding you abundantly.

3. Transparency. In light of the recent news from leaked NSA reports, it is clear that such embassies are like a black box that can be manipulated into doing something that it was not meant to. And for a change, have you ever wondered if those closed source applications you have in your organization may be sending your trade secret to prying eyes? I guess nobody will know for sure until another Snowden appears and leaks it out. Bottom line is, organizations especially Governments are reconsidering their strategy to incorporate transparent applications such as open source where the source code is open and auditable.

We have also seen the rise in adoption rate of open source technologies in Government sector worldwide. That in turn is a self-fulfilling insight and proofs that going the open source way is the way to go!

– Michael Santana, BD Executive I Ashnik