[ILUG] Government use of OSS
marek.mcgann at mic.ul.ie
Thu Mar 5 16:19:54 GMT 2009
On Thursday 05 March 2009 11:09:06 Timothy Murphy wrote:
> Anyone got an estimate of how much the government might save
> if it went over to open source software?
I looked into this several years ago, and went as far as making FOI requests
to all of the government departments I could get to respond to me.
They can't discuss specific contract details, so it would probably take a "task
force" or similar committee to produce accurate numbers. Most of the figures I
was given, though, came with the qualifier of "mostly bespoke", suggeting that
regular license renewal costs were peanuts compared the cthuloid behemoths
that were the likes of PPARS and other projects (the Department of
Agriculture, if I remember, had an absolutely huge software bill).
We'd very quickly get ourselves mired in the "total cost of migration" debate
I think, but with a government that's obsessed with fighting fires rather than
preventing them, I'd be pessimistic about getting them to listen to fresh
ideas on their IT-cost front. And the hidden costs of pissing off Microsoft
have already been mentioned (though I wonder how much we lost while trying not
to piss off Dell?).
Department of Psychology,
Mary Immaculate College,
University of Limerick,
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