EU Pushes For Open Standards in IT

The EU tells it like it is in a new release. It’s not only hot air. They do the maths. “Working with standards – rather than specifying a single ICT brand, tool, system, or product – when procuring ICT systems saves taxpayers’ money. However, many organisations either lack the expertise to decide which standards are relevant to their ICT needs, or fear that the initial costs of change would be too costly and might lead to loss of data. As a result, they remain locked into their ICT systems or into a relationship with only one provider.”
see EUROPA – PRESS RELEASES – Press Release – Digital Agenda: Open standards would save public sector €1 billion a year.

Here’s the maths, “Results from a Commission study found that open tendering procedures are very effective in attracting increased numbers of bidders, and that doubling the number of bidders lowered the contract value by around 9 %. Based on this ratio of increased bidders to reduced costs, and EU ICT public procurement estimated at €78 billion, with 16 % of such procurements referring to brand names, public authorities are estimated to be spending unnecessarily some €1,1 billion per year as a result of the restricted number of bidders caused by the reference to brand names.”

By logical extension, I expect the EU will sooner or later require PCs and OS specified by performance rather than brand-name.

Worse than higher costs for IT, the lock-in that results multiplies those costs forever. We saw that clearly in Munich’s migration to GNU/Linux. The sooner open standards and FLOSS are adopted by governments the sooner IT will not be controlled by a few manipulative monopolies.

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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5 Responses to EU Pushes For Open Standards in IT

  1. ram says:

    It is about time they went to open tenders! Not just in IT can massive amounts of money be saved and employment generated by open standards and open tenders.

  2. dougman says:

    Maou, please list for us how LibreOffice is in some manner inferior?

    Also, list for us how much money a SMB will save my using M$ Office.

    I have composed numerous technical papers and such with it since version 3. I also know a few people that wrote their dissertation with it.

    Of late though and on another subject, I have been using Scrivener for my writing.

  3. Maou Sadao wrote, “fear of the free market which has repeatedly shown inferior copycat products like OpenOffice/LibreOffice the door.”

    Huh? Sales of M$’s office suite, while brisk with big business are sluggish at best with the rest of the world. The free market does allow choice. Why exclude LibreOffice? It’s a great product at a great price. Many organizations have switched to LibreOffice or plan to do so soon. Many individuals using M$’s OS have as well.

    “Berlin, March 6, 2013 – The Document Foundation (TDF) announces LibreOffice 4.0.1, for Windows, MacOS and Linux, the first release after the successful launch of LibreOffice 4.0 in early February, which has yielded rates of entirely new client IP addresses requesting updates each day over the 100,000 mark (they were just 25,000 one year ago).”

    That’s not rejection. That’s acceptance by users of M$’s OS largely. Folks who run GNU/Linux often get their fix directly from the distros.

  4. Maou Sadao says:

    Oh my! Pogson & Co. are again parading around their myths about “lock-in” to create fear of the free market which has repeatedly shown inferior copycat products like OpenOffice/LibreOffice the door.

    When it’s free (as in beer), everyone ought to use it (common sense, no?). But when it sucks (as does most FLOSS), “free” suddenly becomes very cost-intensive.

    Pogson mistakes real freedom for his narrowly defined freedom à la Stallman. But real freedom is when you can choose the best thing for you without relying on cheap dogmatic limitations. And unsurprisingly FLOSS isn’t this best thing then.

  5. dougman says:

    When one has the freedom of Linux, in a world without walls and fences, who needs Windows and Gates?

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