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

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
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.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.