The EU tells it like it is in a new release. It’s not only hot air. They do the maths. “Working with standards â€“ rather than specifying a single ICT brand, tool, system, or product â€“ 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 â‚¬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 â‚¬78 billion, with 16 % of such procurements referring to brand names, public authorities are estimated to be spending unnecessarily some â‚¬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.