The feds are gettin’ open source with it!
And by that we mean Open Source for America (news, site), a movement to increase the adoption of open source technology in the U.S. Federal Government, is gaining some traction. The Linux Box, a company dedicated to providing customized open source software services, is the latest to join the flux.
Fight for an Open Government
Google. Oracle. Red Hat. Canonical. These are just some of the names that have lent their muscle to the effort of hurling open source solutions and all the greatness therein at the gov’t. The heart of OSA's pitch hits home for critical and/or worrying Americans in more ways than one: Open source can save you money!
It is certainly a noble quest, and OSA has the right names to back the mission up. So what's the problem?
“The market for open-source software is growing dramatically, but there still needs to be education around understanding how to get the most out of it,” explained Roger Burkhardt, the chief executive of Ingres, a maker of an open-source database, who is on the Open Source for America board of advisers. “There are quirks to the government procurement process that need to be addressed.”
The Linux Box will be bringing a decade’s worth of experience in the integration and project management fields to the infrastructure subcommittee of OSA. With big clients like FedEx, McKesson and Borders, one hopes the software development consultancy will be able to accomplish some big things.
"In this tough economic climate, both private and public companies are leveraging open source technologies to solve business and IT challenges,” said Elizabeth Ziph, CEO and co-founder of The Linux Box. “As a member of OSA, we will do our best to promote the freedoms that open source software and open technology solutions can provide - an open, transparent and cost-effective option - for government agencies."
We wish them the best of luck. Compared to the last zillion years of proprietary life, open source solutions probably still seem too radical, too unnerving. The challenges one would face trying to get something like that to infiltrate the walls of government are almost palpable.
Hang out with us as we watch OSA fight the good fight, or learn more about the organization here.