Feeds

You open? We're Certified!

Combatting technology lock-in in local government

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

An initiative to inform council IT buying decisions is launched today.

The new scheme entitled Certified Open aims to assess the degree of "openness" of a suppliers' products, services and staff.Certified Open logo Certified Open will be launched with a kitemark that will make is easier for buyers to identify "open" companies.

The kitemark is based on a self-assessment approach where suppliers will be able to grade themselves "gold", "silver" or "bronze" depending on their level of compliance with openness standards.

It will define a product's potential for integration and interoperability with other products and platforms, and gauge the level of risk for the buyer to technology "lock-in."

It will also provide a benchmark for the quality of IT products, services and skills offered.

Once compliance is achieved, suppliers will be able to promote themselves to the market using Certified Open branding.

OpenForum Europe and the Institute of IT Training have been developing Certified Open since June last year and have undertaken discussions with local authorities and major IT suppliers to help shape the scheme.

The next three months after launch will be a process of bedding the scheme in after which it is hoped both private sector companies and local councils will begin to sign up and make use of the initiative.

Speaking to eGov monitor at the launch, Graham Taylor, Director of OpenForum Europe, said: "Public sector organisations have traditionally lock themselves into proprietary solutions. However, they now recognise the need to move to an open framework particularly in light of the government's transformational and shared services agenda.

"We have made significant efforts to communicate to both suppliers and local authorities that this scheme is a framework for both proprietary and open source providers to work together to help the public sector deliver change and innovation."

Alan Bellinger, Business Development Director at the Institute of IT Training also stressed the importance of the initiative in address the skills gap. There is little point in adopting a mixed software economy using both open source and proprietary software if an organisation does not have the staff with the skills to support it.

Development of skills can be managed by using the Certified Open SkillsTracker – a web-based skills assessment tool which maps certifications, qualifications and courses against the Certified Open framework, enabling any specifier, recruiter or supplier to evaluate an individual’s IT skills.

Certified Open SkillsTracker is based on the same approach to training used by IITT for the e-GIF Accreditation Authority.

Certified Open is being piloted within UK local government and is being further developed under TOF-E, the consortium project part funded under the European Commission's eTEN programme, with a plan to roll out across Europe later in 2006.

Copyright © eGov monitor Weekly

eGov monitor Weekly is a free e-newsletter covering developments in UK eGovernment and public sector IT over the last seven days. To register go here.

Related links

Open Source Academy
OpenForum Europe
The Institute of IT Training

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
10 Top Tips For PRs Considering Whether To Phone The Register
You'll Read These And LOL Even Though They're Serious
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.