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LSE study for UK Gov… OSS has lower TCO (who knew?), will it pass the “so what? test

Today two interesting items have been published. The London School of Economics has published a report Total cost of ownership of open source software (pdf) detailing all the ways open source is a good idea and then there’s Mark Ballard’s HMRC rethinks £8.5bn megadeal as large suppliers resist flagship IT reforms.

The LSE study is a good piece of work unfortunately the Ballard article points to its likely effect: not much.

There is no doubt that the UK government is producing a fine set of shelfware on open source software, (such a shame that we’re still waiting for anything significant on the arguably more important open standards (though, luckily for us, we’re told we’re going to have a further consultation (odt)) and then there’s the just as important attention to interoperability).

Meanwhile the real show rolls on: more of the same.

From time to time well-intentioned people get sucked in and devert their productive time into the government machine because the opportunity seems so large but somehow always just around the corner.

There are so many reasons why the UK government should be using open source software, promoting innovation and endogenous growth being just two.

Apart from the obvious reason it why doesn’t happen.

— Gerry Gavigan, Chair, 1 December 2011

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