Before we can talk about the virtues of open source software, we first have to define it.
Red Hat’s Paul Smith says, “open source is a different way of getting software to the consumer faster. It combines collaboration, transparency and participation. The community works together to participate in code development.”
Smith is the Vice President and General Manager of Red Hat’s Public Sector.
Smith talked to Chris Dorobek on the DorobekINSIDER program about how open source has grown in the government space.
“Almost every single agency in the federal government and at the state and local level are using Red Hat or Linux as their base operating platform. They do that so they can take advantage of commodity hardware,” said Smith.
Security: “All the 3 letter agencies are using it for mission critical data ingest,” said Smith
Relationship for the Digital Government Strategy: “The government wants to get away from government procurement cycles as a task. Those are large projects and they want to break them down into smaller more consumable projects. Open source is engineered for that purpose,” said Smith
Cost: “It’s both cheaper to acquire and manage,” said Smith.
Impact of Budget Cuts: “With open source products move to the market faster. That’s needed because innovation in government is happening now like its never happened before,” said Smith.
Red Hat is hosting a free Government Symposium talking about Open Source in October. For more information click here.
I gave a speech in DC a year or so ago in front of a big crowd. I used the phrase “Open source value creation” during the speech. Afterwards, a big guy from Microsoft came up to me to ask “You didn’t really mean what you said about Open Source, did you?”
It was clear to me that he wasn’t a fan. Of course, the government can benefit from smart use of open sourcing, but it’s opponents have deep pockets.