Open source software is currently one of the most popular technologies for businesses, and for good reason. The capabilities of open source are encouraging many organizations to switch over from proprietary software. The public sector is no exception to this rule. In fact, governments are one of the largest adopters of open source software.
There is a desire among public sector organizations to use open source code to build vibrant communities where citizens can become part of the innovation process. By allowing citizens to bring ideas to these communities, governments are leveraging their best talent to optimize digital services for citizens.
With that being said, here are 5 key reasons why governments need open source software in 2018.
First and foremost, open source software is far more affordable than proprietary solutions. It is available for free, and the only costs are generally professional services and hosting. Open source technology also has a higher demonstrable ROI, as a result of its low cost and advanced capabilities.
2. Flexibility and Security
Open source takes flexibility to a whole new level. One of the main priorities for public sector organizations is security. The flexibility in customizing open source software allows organizations to discover vulnerabilities and fix problems much faster. The rigid framework inherent to proprietary software solutions makes it challenging to address security vulnerabilities in real-time. Leveraging the vast open source community means that issues are discovered and solved much faster, protecting governments from the threat of cyber attacks.
Another benefit of open source solutions is that they are extremely high-quality. These solutions are the result of endless testing, code review, and improvements. Many proprietary solutions are created, sold and left behind while developers work on a new version. Instead, open source has the backing of massive communities that are constantly making improvements to the software.
4. Vibrant Community
By going open source, organizations are able to reap the benefits of massive, vibrant communities that contribute to the development of the solution. Government agencies have the objective of serving their citizens above all else. That means being visible and communicating with them openly. An open source platform is visible to the entire population and becomes a gateway of communication between the public sector and the people. The result is a strong bond, through a like-minded community.
5. Proven Track Record
Open source software has a proven track record. Drupal is a great example of this. As an open source content management system, Drupal has accumulated a strong community of developers and has been deployed for thousands of organizations, in the public and private sectors, worldwide.
There is no doubt that governments need open source. An open source future is the only future in which the public sector can continue to innovate in a digital world.