Open source software continues to bring new innovations into the software industry with the latest trends in Big Data likely to have one of the most significant impacts on technology developments given the support in this area of leading vendors such as Oracle, IBM and Microsoft. While many other countries have seen significant support from their own governments, the UK has seen mixed signals. It seems that this is all about to change.
In a recent development, the UK Gov is also going to start buying open source from SMEs. Liam Maxwell, Cabinet Office director of ICT futures, told the audience at the Intellect 2012 conference that open source has grown up and it's time to dispel lingering misconceptions about this technology and development process.
Maxwell said: “Open source software is not three guys in a shed anymore. There are a lot of misconceptions about open source but open source is the future model for delivering IT.”
Underscoring the government’s interest in open source Maxwell said that recently he'd accompanied Cabinet Office minister Frances Maude, overseeing the government's digital transition, on a tour of Silicon Valley tech companies working with open source and big data – Cloudera, specializing in the Google-inspired Hadoop data munching framework, and MongoDB specialist 10Gen. Maxwell also introduced his ministerial boss to cloud software infrastructure specialist Joyent and eBay's payment arm PayPal.
“We have a minister who really gets this," Maxwell said. "That's where the future is moving. It's moving to a new model of service and delivery, it's big data and big data is going to be open source. We are going to spend a lot of time looking into that. If we move to being one common government we need open source,” he further added.
The idea is to move away from what Maxwell called “black-box” contracts involving big IT vendors to more agile systems delivered by small and medium sized enterprises. The thinking seems to be SME equals open source and open standards, while big means the same old proprietary vendors, reports The Register.