Thursday, September 9, 2004

Open source systems in government

With all the talks on open source systems, IT managers may wonder what should be done with the large number of software in their office. Most of us are bound by MS Windows both at workstation and server level. How about the free Linus. Don't be intimidated by another type of server administration. IT managers manage the system administrators who are the technical people. We just need to know what is there, its advantages and disadvantages, and to make sure that the technical people are doing their job.

Some salient points:

"Factors to consider in such a cost analysis range from interoperability with existing applications to the relative scarcity of trained Linux support personnel."

"Such concerns may loom larger if a company is governed by a central IT strategy, which would discourage a piecemeal approach to technology adoption."

Are we governed by a central IT strategy? The government is promoting interoperability at a grand scale, i.e. an integrated e-service to the public with interoperability and compatiability at all levels. At the same time, we are not having a standard of basic tools. While IT managers may have interest in open source systems because of their low cost, good support(??), and the chance to get away from Microsoft, the concerns raised also need some consideration. But there is no harm to start a small experiment in the office.

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