The deputy chief information officer at the UK Cabinet Office has explained his department's reasons for championing open source software.
Bill McCluggage, explained that after this year's election there was a new admin policy put in place with an efficiency and reform group with a focus on public sector information communication technology (ICT).
He said that the initial focus was on small to medium business procurement and small business enterprise, but interest was generally dictated by large processes that the small business did not fit into. He also commented that of an initial £16.9 billion budget, £7.9 billion was spent on ICT.
However the interest in cloud computing, with its 'G-Cloud' and use of open source technology was its keen focus. He said: “We did analyse the environment where open source is used and use open standards to suit management in terms of open source capability. We cannot legally specify the use of a product, but we can specify open standards and we say to consider using open source in the environment.
“By putting the spotlight on open standards we can look at the next agile capability and talk to larger companies that are putting open source in, and potentially enter in where Unix is used. This is most used in desktop productivity tools, but we need to do more work with open standards in the next two to three years.”
He also said that this policy has allowed the re-use of open standard software applications, and how to look at a target environment and understand how to re-use assets.
In terms of the future, he claimed that there was a consideration of how to consolidate the 220 data centres but there has been little progression, while the use of its 'G-Cloud' has allowed software to be purchased on a pay-per-use strategy.