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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?
WITS FOSS AWARENESS EVENT
Arno WebbProgramme Manager
FOSS Programme Office
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.
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
Current policy adopted.
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.
Migrate to FOSS
FOSS, open stds based developmt
Promote outside govt
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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)
CommitmentSupport capacityStandards, policies, proceduresEnergetic promotion by proprietary
Information sharing Implementation by early adopters
2007 2011Build the ecosystemGenerate commitmentFacilitate implementation
2011Start a comprehensive phase-in schedule
Open source is furniture now: everyone has it, but perhaps they don't think about it. (CNET News, 3 March 2009)
SITA's FOSS Programme Office (FPO) work areas
Skills developmentSolution developmentImplementation supportDecision supportPlanning, monitoring &
Competency centres ...GOVERNANCEControl board
Boards of governorAdvisory councilGoverning
Delivery partnership Academic
institution SMME SITA ICT corporate Science council Aid agencies of
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
National and provincial government officesLocal governmentE-cooperativesSchoolsLocal NGOsLocal businesses
FOSS rating and development
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
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