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  • S t a t e I n f o r m a t i o n T e c h n o l o g y A g e n c y

    Where is FOSS today?


    September 2009

    Arno WebbProgramme Manager

    FOSS Programme Office

  • 22

    What is free open source software (FOSS) FOSS is typically developed through public

    collaboration Available to anyone (usually at little or no cost) Does not require proprietary license fees May be freely re-distributed Users also have access to the human readable

    version of the software called the source code The use, modification and redistribution of the

    source code is governed by rules specified in associated nonproprietary open source licenses.

  • 33

    Recent FOSS history in government2002

    Acknowledgement that FOSS is enterprose ready.Public service FOSS work group established.

    2003First survey shows little FOSS knowledge in

    government.Cabinet approves first strategy. Emphasis on

    knowledge dissemination.2007

    Current policy adopted.

  • 44

    Government policy 20071) The South African Government will implement FOSS unless

    proprietary software is demonstrated to be significantly superior. Whenever the advantages of FOSS and proprietary software are comparable FOSS will be implemented when choosing a software solution for a new project. Whenever FOSS is not implemented, then reasons must be provided in order to justify the implementation of proprietary software.

    2) The South African Government will migrate current proprietary software to FOSS whenever comparable software exists.

    3) All new software developed for or by the South African Government will be based on open standards, adherent to FOSS principles, and licensed using a FOSS license where possible.

    4) The South African Government will ensure all Government content and content developed using Government resources is made Open Content, unless analysis on specific content shows that proprietary licensing or confidentiality is substantially beneficial.

    5) The South African Government will encourage the use of Open Content and Open Standards within South Africa.

    Choose FOSS

    Migrate to FOSS

    FOSS, open stds based developmt

    Open content

    Promote outside govt

  • 55

    Status quo Rest of the world:

    Several examples, e.g. in Study on the economic impact of open source software on innovation and the competitiveness of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector in the EU.

    South African government: Full migrations at Presidential National Commission, National

    Library Significant progress at a number of national departments (e.g.

    SARS), provincial departments, e.g. Limpopo Dept of Health, local governments, e.g. Ethikweni

    as well as SITA.

  • 66

    FOSS penetration in government

    Of all national departments - More than half have some FOSS implementation plans.About 25% use FOSS web servers.About 40% use FOSS in some form at the back end.At least 12% use some FOSS on desktops.

  • 77

    2nd and 3rd spheres of governmentAll provincial governments use some FOSS,

    mostly back end.Some government agencies, e.g. SARS, National

    Library make significant use of FOSS.Our biggest opportunity may be local government.

    Some municipalities have little or no IT infrasture. Their budget limitations should make FOSS attractive.

  • 88

    Most widely used softwareDistros: Red Hat, Suse, UbuntuGroupware: Zimbra, some Kolab, ThunderbirdOpenOffice.orgFirefoxZ-Linux on mainframe for proprietary databasesAlfresco electronic content managementXmind, Freemind mind mappingSakai elearning softwareInterfacing with proprietary software via Citrix,

    Crossover (found to be resource-intensive)

  • 99

    Global trends

    In our times the cost benefits of FOSS are important: Our analysis has been performed on six organizations

    in different European countries. The majority of them are public bodies. The organizations have followed different types of migration on the base of their context.

    Our findings show that, in almost all the cases, a transition toward open source reports of savings on the long term costs of ownership of the software products.

  • 1010

    From a Forrester Report (USA)

    87 percent of those surveyed realized the cost savings they expected from open source;

    92 percent of respondents have had their quality expectations met or exceeded by open-source software.

    (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13505_3-10118123-16.html, 09/06/23)


  • 1111

    Shifting focus

    It used to make sense to talk about open source as a separate line item in the enterprise IT lexicon. However, open source has become such a standard way of delivering enterprise IT that maybe it's time to update the lexicon.

    (CNET News, 3 March 2009)

  • 1212


    CommitmentSupport capacityStandards, policies, proceduresEnergetic promotion by proprietary

    software providers

  • 1313

    Phases2003 2007

    Information sharing Implementation by early adopters

    2007 2011Build the ecosystemGenerate commitmentFacilitate implementation

    2011Start a comprehensive phase-in schedule

  • 1414

    Current trend

    Open source is furniture now: everyone has it, but perhaps they don't think about it. (CNET News, 3 March 2009)


  • 1515

    SITA's FOSS Programme Office (FPO) work areas

    Skills developmentSolution developmentImplementation supportDecision supportPlanning, monitoring &


  • 1616

    Competency centres ...GOVERNANCEControl board

    Boards of governorAdvisory councilGoverning




    Delivery partnership Academic

    institution SMME SITA ICT corporate Science council Aid agencies of

    other countries

    Competency centre +/- 15 across the

    country Govt funding sliding

    from 100% to 0% over 5 years

    Located at SITA regional offices, academic institutions or other

    FOSS support

    National and provincial government officesLocal governmentE-cooperativesSchoolsLocal NGOsLocal businesses

    FOSS rating and development

    ServicesFOSS training

    Operating systems,web servicesdatabase systems development platformsuser training

    ECM GIS Groupware Education GNULinux/distros Localisation Telephony ODF/OpenOfficeDatabase softwareOSS for Health OSS for social development OSS for SMMEs OSS for civil society

  • 1717


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