Friday, February 13, 2009

U.S. Government Should Consider Open Source

What good could an open letter to the President of the United States do, you ask? Perhaps, it could do a lot. Our new president has already demonstrated keen interest in technology and efficiency (the now infamous “secure BlackBerry” in his possession is one piece of evidence). In fact, President Obama is citing the U.S. healthcare delivery system as an industry in dire need of efficiency through improved technology and automation. He recognizes that the U.S. Government can play a keen role in creating the long-awaited electronic patient record. Amazing, isn’t it, that your car’s service records are far more organized and accessible than your vital medical information?

Led by the Collaborative Software Initiative, an
open letter to the new Commander-in-Chief went live on Tuesday, February 10. I signed this letter, along with a wide number of fellow open source CEOs and executives, including colleagues at Alfresco, Ingres, Hyperic, Talend, Compiere, MuleSource, OpenLogic, Unisys, and just recently, Red Hat. My hat’s off to Stuart Cohen and David Christiansen at the Collaborative Software Initiative for spearheading this dialog with Mr. Obama. The tenets of the letter are well aligned with the advice I offered our next president in my early November blog post.

Because I encourage far more efficient use of my tax dollars, I want our Government to consider open source software products in every category they are available. I agree with many of those
who have engaged in a dialog about this letter since its posting, especially Mr. Christiansen when he said: “I don't want to mandate everything the government does should be open source.. I think software should stand on its own merits, but I honestly believe that one of its merits should be the sourcing of the software, the way it's built and who owns the technology."

I’m proud of the traction Jaspersoft has made in helping government customers spend less and get more. Here’s to hoping this open letter is heartily considered, in the Oval Office and throughout our nation’s government.

Brian Gentile
Chief Executive Officer


  1. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  2. Thanks Joannah, very glad you like what you've read. I try to focus on the strategic landscape of BI and Open Source and try to either synthesize information (that yields new ideas or insight) or offer original ideas that are practical and based on too many years of experience in software and technology. I hope you continue to follow and enjoy. Let me know what you think by offering your comments often. And, tell others!