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2. Our selected open standards will enable suppliers to compete on a level playing field. 3. Our standards choices support flexibility and change. 4. We adopt open standards that support sustainable cost. 5. Our decisions on standards selection are well informed. 6. We select open standards using fair and transparent processes. 7. We are fair and transparent in the specification and implementation of open standards. An employee from the Dutch government also provided an international perspective. “We use open source for our intranet,” the respondent said. “We work together with two other agencies, on the software of www.pleio.nl. They work for the total of the Dutch government and connect them through a social media 2.0 solution.” The software, Pleio, offers the ability to conduct online meetings with citizens or business in an open-source environment.

O B STACLE S T O A D OPT ION Although these trends show the power of open source, the road to adoption is not always clear. Agency officials must navigate difficult procurement cycles, define mission value and navigate security challenges. To better understand the roadblocks, our survey asked respondents to identify the barriers to adoption. We found that the leading obstacle is security challenges (73 percent). Other challenges respondents named: „ „ 60 percent cited lack of education and knowledge on open source. „ „ 58 percent cited fear of interoperability with existing systems. „ „ 50 percent cited licensing and legal concerns. In particular, respondents commented on the difficulty of budget and resource requirements, change management, culture, and staffing concerns. “One challenge is the lack of knowledge within government workforce, as some of the stated concerns, while held,

are largely invalid or easily mitigated,” a respondent said. Another touched on the perceptions of open source, stating that open source gets passed over because of “irrational assumptions that closed/proprietary software does much more to address the issues above than simply pass the buck.” Respondents also highlighted the need to receive managers’ support. “Without executive buy-in, wheels will spin and nothing will happen,” one said. Another said, “A lot of the pushback will be from people who depend on and only know proprietary software. Offer trainings and learning opportunities to those people so they don’t feel threatened. Having the IT ‘grunts’’ support will go far when it comes to getting approval from higher up.” Like any kind of IT investment, open source will have its challenges. The rest of our guide explores a government case study, provides insights from open-source experts and concludes with an open-source cheat sheet to help you fully understand open-source technology.

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F I GU R E 3:

WHAT ARE THE OBSTACLES TO ADOPTION? 73%

60%

Security challenges

Lack of education and knowledge on open source

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58% Fear of interoperability with existing systems

50% Licensing and legal concerns

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OPEN SOURCE

8.

Profile for GovLoop

Agency of the Future: Open Source  

Through GovLoop’s research initiatives to define the “agency of the future,” we have consistently found one important trend in government: o...

Agency of the Future: Open Source  

Through GovLoop’s research initiatives to define the “agency of the future,” we have consistently found one important trend in government: o...

Profile for govloop