Governmental Spending on IT

Government is all about IT. There is a lot of paper involved still but computers do more of the heavy lifting each year. After years of tightening IT budgets the need to optimize IT in price/performance is rising up the list.

“One of the biggest drivers for government IT spending is the need to become more efficient and reduce long-term costs, which was named by about 60 percent of respondents. Other big government IT spending influencers include compliance with government mandates or regulations, responding to the needs of citizens and staff, as well as the necessity of modernizing legacy systems, particularly those vulnerable to security threats.”

That’s from a recent survey by CompTIA.

I think this means GNU/Linux has a better shot at wider usage on the desktop in government. Saving $hundreds per PC on software licensing is only the tip of the iceberg. Government can save on malware-fighting, re-re-reboots, performance on a given hardware, thin clients, clouds, and new clients such as Android/Linux tablets and notebooks. In most countries, governments are the largest business and buying habits will be important for all suppliers. I expect many governments will decide that other OS on every hard drive on every PC is not optimal and better/more efficient solutions will be implemented.

In education where I have worked it has been repeatedly demonstrated that education can have twice the hardware or half the budget just by using GNU/Linux, a flexible and robust operating system, a product of the world, not a single vendor. The world needs IT and can make its own better and cheaper software than a monopoly. It’s not hard to do. Governments, being large operations, can easily afford to contribute to FLOSS to ensure stable and secure software is available at much lower costs than hundreds of thousands of licences maintained forever.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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