Exploring Open Source Technology

A new paradigm – the shared economy – has emerged and reshaped business practices, governments and our private lives. This shared economy has affected society in dozens of ways: We share bikes, cars, nannies, skills and even our homes. Crowdsourced services are changing our social fabric and altering how we share knowledge. As a result, we must ask ourselves this question: If we are so committed to the power of sharing in our private lives, why not do the same with software in our agencies?

Through GovLoop’s research initiatives to define the “agency of the future,” we have consistently found one important trend in government: open-source technology. Open source holds great potential to reimagine business processes and how services are delivered in the public sector. Government agencies have used open-source solutions in a variety of ways, including powering websites and running internal communications platforms. We’ve seen how agencies can tailor open-source solutions to fit organizational needs.


As with any kind of information technology initiative or program, government agencies must consider the mission value when adopting open source, and they must understand the costs, risks and opportunities associated with it. We have created this report to cut through the hype to clarify how open source can transform your agency and prepare it for the future. Specifically, this report includes:

  • Survey results from 233 government professionals, with 73 percent citing security as the leading barrier to adopting open-source solutions and 58 percent reporting use of open source today.
  • An interview with Chris Mattmann, senior computer scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and adjunct assistant professor at the University of Southern California.
  • An interview with Gunnar Hellekson, chief technology strategist at Red Hat’s U.S. public-sector business.
  • Insights on how open source will affect government in the next three to five years.

A public-sector open-source cheat sheet that summarizes this guide and provides need-to- know open-source information. The bottom line: Open source offers a bright spot in government innovation and can help launch agencies into the future.

Red Hat is the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, using a community-powered approach to provide reliable and high-performing cloud, virtualization, storage, Linux, and middleware technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. Learn more here: http://www.redhat.com/solutions/industry/government/