Feeds

UK fails to make the most of open source

Fragmented picture

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

UK firms are failing to exploit open source software as much as they might because of uncertainty about its business benefits.

That's the key finding of a report prepared for the UK Department of Trade and Industry by the National Computing Centre (NCC), which offers a series of recommendations to encourage use of the technology.

According to the NCC, quality standards for open source are uneven - open source operating systems compare favourably with proprietary infrastructure products, but this is not the case for office desktop and business systems applications. It calls for a wider, more co-ordinated development effort.

Dr. Andrew Hopkirk, head of research and development at the NCC, said: "the current use of open source software in the UK is a complex and fragmented picture, yet there is clearly great potential for cost savings and increased efficiency."

Interest in Open Source has increased in the light of rising licence costs of proprietary software. But difficulty in establishing accurate total cost of ownership benchmarks for computer systems is holding back adoption.

Assessing the quality and suitability of open source products, partly "due to the widely collaborative way in which they are developed", is also seen as an issue for users.

NCC's recommendations for the development of the market include:

  • Availability of independent support and guidance to advise the professional IT user community on the availability and suitability of open source products
  • The establishment of a National Library of Open Source software and compliance tests, to independently evaluate open source products for reliability and interoperability
  • The creation of standards to promote excellence in open source software development, distribution, and operational implementation
  • A national focus for the promotion of Open Technologies and Standards - including improved marketing through the support of pilot projects, the generation of case study material and the establishment of a clear cost of ownership model for open source software
  • The setting up of an independent convenor of open source initiatives to co-ordinate and leverage market opportunities for UK organisations


Michael Gough, chief executive of NCC, said, "the UK would benefit greatly from the establishment of a stable alternative to the use of proprietary software, both in terms of business innovation and competitiveness, and in support of the UK software industry."

NCC's report Open Source - The UK Opportunity was compiled after in-depth interviews with 30 IT professionals, representative of a cross section of public and private organisations in the UK, some of whom had already adopted open source solutions. ®

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.