“The move to open source is inevitable as open source communities of developers continue to work on thousands of applications and as more software development companies invest in an open source model to allow for greater flexibility and lower end user prices than existing proprietary competitors. Europe has more than a decade head start on North American cities. The quality of available open source software has improved so much in that decade, that the transition can be far easier for cities starting now, than it was for Munich when they got the ball rolling in Europe.”
See North American Cities Slow to Adopt Open Source SoftwareObviously there are huge savings in licensing fees to be had by cities migrating to FLOSS solutions from the desktop OS to the servers. On the other hand there is time/money/effort required to make changes happen but these are mostly one-time costs. Cities in Europe have been adopting GNU/Linux and FLOSS steadily for more than a decade. It’s about time North American cities did the same.
It’s not just about budgets. FLOSS is flexible so cities can update/migrate whenever they want, own their own data, and implement software in the most efficient manner. I remember when a lot of non-Free software required one copy per client machine. That cost a lot just to maintain. Nowadays more permit use on servers but then they account for licences in strange, complex and expensive ways often causing problems in audits. No. FLOSS is the way to go. It works for people not the business providing the software.