Posted by: commonsresource | February 26, 2010

Cloudy with a chance of….

Continuing with my government/public authority theme, I would like to highlight yesterday’s post in Matt Assay’s Open Road blog entitled “Software industry’s false choice for governments”.  In addition to pointing out the general risk of vendor lock-in from the use of proprietary formats (well illustrated by a couple of recent Netherland examples discussed in that day’s ComputerworldUK blog), he quite accurately highlights the additional risks in this area that can arise from a cloud computing based service.

While I continue to champion the adoption of open source software by government and public authorities in order to achieve the great benefits of commons sourcing, I do recognize that the ultimate objective is to select the best solution in each situation. And while open source software offers some clear advantages, it is equally apparent that its adoption can bring disadvantages that can tip the balance in favour of commercial or “home grown” software solutions.  As my late father always said, it is all about choosing the right tool for the job.

In short, I believe that Matt says it best: “The answer is not government mandates for open source, per se, but rather procurement guidelines that demand open source (for on-premises deployments), open data (for cloud deployments), and open standards (for both cloud and on-premises deployments) at least be considered, and probably given preference. In other words, a requirement for real choice, not the false choice proprietary software and clouds offer.”   While my forecast for the adoption of these three open initiatives by government (“O3”) is currently cloudy, I continue to hope for the promise of a sunny day.


  1. […] software, part of the O3 combination of open source, open data, and open standards touched on in my Cloudy with a chance of… post back in February, will be a key pillar of the accelerating open government […]

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