UK government is planning to speed up the use of Open Source Software in public services. Open Source Software (OSS) would be a much cheaper alternative to other proprietary software, like Windows. They are generally free of charge and have an easily modifiable code.
Benefits for the government: UK government is expected to save approximately Â£ 600m a year by using OSS, as it usually does not have licensing and upfront fees. Government organizations like schools, public services, and government departments would have the liberty whether to pay for training and maintenance while using OSS.
Areas of operation: OSS can be deployed in various office suites, such as word processing and spreadsheets, document management, and database management, which are the backbone of large IT operations.
Government action plan: Opting for OSS came after some significant IT failures in recent years due to relying on proprietary software. The action plan of UK government is given below:
- UK government would accept open standards to utilize OSS in communicating with individuals and businesses.
- Ensure optimum utilization of OSS in every department.
- Provide necessary training to improve skill set and capabilities within government and its vendors to maximize returns from OSS.
- Creating an atmosphere of contribution and sharing toward development of OSS.
Repercussion from proprietary software vendors: Traditional software vendors are expected to lower rates of their service and also to extend better support to fight back the competition coming from OSS.
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